NBA roundup: Thunder rout Mavs, claim No. 1 seed in West

By Thomson Reuters Apr 15, 2024 | 8:13 AM

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 15 points in just 16 minutes as the Oklahoma City Thunder left no doubt, blowing out the visiting Dallas Mavericks 135-86 on Sunday.

The Thunder finished the regular season with a five-game winning streak to claim the top seed in the Western Conference for the first time since the 2012-13 season. They held both the tiebreaker with the Nuggets and the three-way tiebreaker; Denver winning sealed the Thunder’s playoff position.

Oklahoma City had seven players finish in double figures, with Aaron Wiggins scoring 14 off the bench and Ousmane Dieng contributing 13. Rookie Chet Holmgren scored 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting with nine rebounds in just 11:32.

With the Mavericks’ playoff position set, they sat all of their starters other than Tim Hardaway Jr. Brandon Williams led the Mavericks with 22 points and Olivier-Maxence Prosper added 15 as Dallas finished a season-low 33 percent from the field.

Suns 125, Timberwolves 106

Bradley Beal scored 36 points on 14-for-21 shooting, including 6-for-6 from beyond the arc, and Phoenix cruised past Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Devin Booker added 23 points and seven assists for the Suns, who moved past New Orleans for the sixth seed in the Western Conference, escaping the play-in tournament.

Rudy Gobert scored 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead Minnesota. The Timberwolves entered the game in a three-way tie for the best record in the Western Conference, but they dropped to the No. 3 seed after losing on Sunday while the Oklahoma City Thunder and Denver Nuggets both won to secure the top two spots.

Knicks 120, Bulls 119 (OT)

Jalen Brunson recorded 40 points, eight rebounds and seven assists and New York landed the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference by holding off visiting Chicago in overtime.

A loss to the Orlando Magic by the Milwaukee Bucks aided the Knicks, who registered their second 50-win season in 24 seasons. Donte DiVincenzo added 25 points for the Knicks, who took the lead for good after DiVincenzo’s 3-pointer gave them a 114-112 lead with 3:13 remaining in overtime.

DeMar DeRozan paced the Bulls with 30 points, five rebounds and five assists. Nikola Vucevic finished with a 29-point, 11-rebound double-double and Coby White had 26 points.

Celtics 132, Wizards 122

Payton Pritchard scored a career-high 38 points and added 12 assists and nine rebounds as Boston beat visiting Washington.

Pritchard made 15 of 21 field-goal attempts. Svi Mykhailiuk had 26 points for the Celtics, who received 19 points and nine rebounds from Neemias Queta.

Eugene Omoruyi led Washington with 26 points, and Jared Butler added 22. The Wizards ended their season on a six-game losing streak.

Pacers 157, Hawks 115

Myles Turner racked up 31 points and 12 rebounds as Indiana clinched an Eastern Conference playoff spot with a lopsided victory over Atlanta in Indianapolis.

By matching their highest-scoring performance in franchise history, the Pacers earned the No. 6 seed in the East and will play the third-seeded Milwaukee Bucks in the playoffs. Pascal Siakam added 28 points as seven Pacers scored in double figures. Indiana shot a stunning 65 percent overall (65 of 100) and went 19-for-36 from beyond the arc (52.8 percent).

Dejounte Murray scored 32 points to pace the Hawks, who are set to face the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the play-in tournament.

Warriors 123, Jazz 116

Klay Thompson scored 25 points, but Golden State couldn’t improve from 10th place in the Western Conference despite a victory over visiting Utah in the regular-season finale.

The Warriors will face the Sacramento Kings in an elimination game on Tuesday to tip off the Western play-in event. Golden State elected to rest Stephen Curry and Draymond Green on the eve of the playoffs, and limited Thompson to 20 minutes, during which he had enough time to shoot 6-for-12 on 3-pointers en route to his game-high point total. Gui Santos finished with 13 points and Lester Quinones 12 among Golden State’s game-ending group. Andrew Wiggins had 19 in a starting role, while Dario Saric chipped in with 12.

Keyonte George paced Utah with 21 points, while Omer Yurtseven put up a double-double with 11 points to complement a game-high 18 rebounds.

Nuggets 126, Grizzlies 111

Jamal Murray scored 21 points, Nikola Jokic had 15 points and 15 rebounds and visiting Denver beat Memphis to secure the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.

Denver moved past Minnesota, which lost at home to Phoenix on Sunday, and will begin the first round of the playoffs against the winner of Tuesday night’s play-in game between the No. 7 New Orleans Pelicans and No. 8 Los Angeles Lakers. The Nuggets bounced back from a disappointing loss at San Antonio on Friday night to tie the franchise record for wins set in the 2012-13 season and give head coach Michael Malone his 424th career win. Christian Braun had 19 points and 10 rebounds, Aaron Gordon had 15 points, Michael Porter Jr. added 12 and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Reggie Jackson and Peyton Watson scored 11 each.

GG Jackson scored a career-high 44 points, Jake LaRavia had 29 and Scotty Pippen Jr. finished with 15 for the Grizzlies.

Magic 113, Bucks 88

Paolo Banchero had 26 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists and Orlando clinched a playoff spot with a rout of visiting Milwaukee.

Franz Wagner added 25 points and three steals as the Magic earned their first playoff berth since the 2019-20 season. Orlando is the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference and will face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round.

The Bucks lost for the eighth time in the past 11 games. Milwaukee will be the 3 seed in the East and will face the Indiana Pacers in the first round.

Heat 118, Raptors 103

Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro scored 17 points each as host Miami routed out-of-contention Toronto.

With the game virtually decided after three quarters, the Heat went to their bench, and Jaime Jaquez Jr. finished with 18 points. Reserve Thomas Bryant also had 18 points and added 10 rebounds. Despite the win, the Heat will have to settle for the play-in round as the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference. They will face the No. 7 Philadelphia 76ers in the play-in round on Wednesday.

Toronto was led by Gary Trent Jr., who had 18 points. Toronto was missing several injured standouts, including starters Scottie Barnes (hand), RJ Barrett (knee) and Immanuel Quickley (adductor).

Hornets 120, Cavaliers 110

Nick Smith Jr. pumped in 24 points to lead a bunch of backups as Charlotte ended the season by beating playoff-bound host Cleveland.

The Hornets were sparked on a late 15-2 burst by Smith, Amari Bailey and JT Thor (20 points), surging to a 117-110 lead with less than two minutes to play. It was the final game for Charlotte coach Steve Clifford, who will move into a front-office role with the organization.

Max Strus recorded his first career triple-double with 14 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who finished fourth in the Eastern Conference for the playoffs beginning Saturday against the Orlando Magic. Cleveland also used a largely makeshift lineup and had reduced minutes for several who did play.

76ers 107, Nets 86

Tyrese Maxey scored 26 points as Philadelphia led virtually the entire way to beat visiting Brooklyn.

The Sixers ended the regular season with eight straight wins and survived another absence by Joel Embiid, who sat out after tweaking his surgically repaired left knee in the first half against the Orlando Magic on Friday. Embiid appeared in 39 games and the Sixers went 31-8 when he played.

Cam Thomas led the Nets with 18 points and rookie Noah Clowney added 16. Trendon Watford contributed 14 and Lonnie Walker IV finished with 12 as Brooklyn shot 38.6 percent and misfired on 25 of 34 3-point tries.

Spurs 123, Pistons 95

Sandro Mamukelashvili poured in 18 points to lead eight players in double figures as host San Antonio rolled over Detroit, both long since eliminated from the postseason.

The Spurs, despite being without six injured players who started games this season, finished strong, winning four of their final six games to end up in 14th place in the West, one spot out of the cellar.

James Wiseman racked up game highs of 21 points and 17 rebounds for Detroit. The Pistons dropped 15 of its last 17 games and finished as the worst team in the NBA after setting a team-low mark for wins in a season, supplanting the 16 wins produced by the 1979-80 squad.

Lakers 124, Pelicans 108

LeBron James had a triple-double, Anthony Davis had a double-double and visiting Los Angeles dominated New Orleans.

James finished with 28 points, 17 assists and 11 rebounds and Davis had 30 points and 11 rebounds as the Lakers clinched the No. 8 seed and set up a rematch with the seventh-seeded Pelicans in a play-in game Tuesday night in New Orleans.

CJ McCollum scored 25 points to lead New Orleans. Herbert Jones added 18, while Larry Nance Jr. and Brandon Ingram, returning from a 12-game absence due to a hyper-extended knee, scored 13 each.

Kings 121, Blazers 82

De’Aaron Fox scored 24 points in three quarters as host Sacramento cruised past Portland.

After finishing with the third seed in the Western Conference last season — when they made the playoffs for the first time since 2006 — the Kings will be the No. 9 seed this time. Sacramento will host the Warriors in a play-in game on Tuesday.

Dalano Banton led the Trail Blazers with 17 points before being ejected for a flagrant 2 foul late in the fourth quarter. He went 6-for-26 from the field and missed all 15 of his 3-point tries, becoming the first player in NBA history to go 0-for-15 from behind the arc. Eric Gordon, Brook Lopez and Justin Anderson shared the previous mark of futility by going 0-for-12 from 3-point range.

Rockets 116, Clippers 105

Cam Whitmore scored 21 points and Amen Thompson recorded his first career triple-double with 18 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists as Houston defeated host Los Angeles.

Jabari Smith Jr. had 15 points for Houston, which won for the third time in its last four games and avoided a fourth straight losing season.

Terance Mann led the Clippers with a season-high 24 points. Both teams relied on reserve players in a game that did not have postseason implications. The Clippers trailed 105-102 with 3:09 remaining before Houston went on a 14-0 run to put the game away.

–Field Level Media