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Watch: NBA roundup: Wolves nip Nuggets in OT, snatch playoff spot

New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday (11) and forward Anthony Davis (23) defend against San Antonio Spurs guard Danny Green (14) during the second half at the Smoothie King Center. The Pelicans defeated the Spurs 122-98. Photo Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday (11) and forward Anthony Davis (23) defend against San Antonio Spurs guard Danny Green (14) during the second half at the Smoothie King Center. The Pelicans defeated the Spurs 122-98. Photo Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Butler scored 31 points, and Andrew Wiggins added 18, including two huge free throws with 14.6 seconds to play in overtime, as the Timberwolves outlasted the visiting Denver Nuggets 112-106 on Wednesday in the teams' final regular-season game, giving Minnesota the last Western Conference playoff spot.

Minnesota earned the eighth seed in the West and is in the postseason for the first time since 2004. The Wolves will play the top-seeded Houston Rockets in the first round of the playoffs.

Denver, which had won six consecutive games to force this winner-take-all contest, was eliminated from playoff contention. The Nuggets have not played in the postseason since the 2012-13 season.

Karl-Anthony Towns added 26 points and 14 rebounds for the Timberwolves, while Wiggins hit for 18 points and Jeff Teague scored 17. Denver's Nikola Jokic led all scorers with 35 points.

Thunder 137, Grizzlies 123

Oklahoma City star Russell Westbrook became the first player in NBA history to average a triple-double in multiple seasons, and Paul George scored 40 points as the Thunder ripped visiting Memphis.

Westbrook collected 20 rebounds to raise his season average to 10.05 per game. He also had six points and 19 assists against the Grizzlies to finish the season with averages of 25.4 and 10.3, respectively, in those categories.

The Thunder's seeding placement for the Western Conference playoffs will be officially known later Wednesday night, but the victory assures that the Thunder will at least be the No. 6 seed and will play Utah in the first round. If the Jazz lose to Portland, Oklahoma City would get home-court advantage.

Pelicans 122, Spurs 98

Jrue Holiday scored 23 points as New Orleans finished the regular season with its fifth consecutive victory, downing San Antonio in a battle of playoff-bound teams. Anthony Davis had 22 points and 15 rebounds for the Pelicans.

The Pelicans (48-34) will play Portland in the first round of the playoffs and the Trail Blazers will have home-court advantage, though seedings weren't finalized pending the outcome of Portland's home game against Utah late Wednesday. The Blazers will be either the third or fourth seed and New Orleans will be either fifth or sixth. The Spurs (47-35) are the seventh seed, and they will play second-seeded Golden State in the first round.

Nikola Mirotic had 21 points and 15 rebounds, Rajon Rondo had 19 points and 14 assists for the Pelicans. LaMarcus Aldridge, Tony Parker and Dejounte Murray scored 11 points each for the Spurs.

Trail Blazers 102, Jazz 93

Damian Lillard scored 36 points and dished out 10 assists as Portland tripped up visiting Utah.

The victory allowed Portland (49-33) to edge Utah (48-34) for the third seed in the Western Conference playoffs. The Blazers will open the postseason against the sixth-seeded New Orleans Pelicans, while the Jazz fell to the fifth seed, and they will oppose the fourth-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder.

CJ McCollum added 19 points for the Trail Blazers. Jusuf Nurkic chipped in 13 points and nine rebounds for Portland, which snapped a four-game losing streak. Donovan Mitchell and Ricky Rubio each scored 17 points for the Jazz. Rudy Gobert collected 13 points and 13 rebounds for Utah, which had won six games in a row.

Heat 116, Raptors 109 (OT)

Wayne Ellington scored 32 points to lead Miami to an overtime victory over visiting Toronto.

Miami's win, coupled with Milwaukee's loss at Philadelphia, assured the Heat a sixth-place finish in the Eastern Conference and a first-round series against the third-seeded Philadelphia 76ers.

Toronto (59-23) had long since clinched the East's No. 1 seed. The Raptors will begin the playoffs against the eighth-seeded Washington Wizards. Kyle Lowry led Toronto with 28 points, and he added 10 rebounds and nine assists.

Knicks 110, Cavaliers 98

LeBron James scored 10 points in 11 minutes to cap the first season of his career in which he played in all 82 games, but playoff-bound Cleveland fell to visiting New York.

James extended his NBA record by scoring in double figures for the 873rd straight regular-season game, a streak that stretches back to Jan. 6, 2007. He intended on playing until he reached double figures, and James reached 10 points with about two minutes left in the first quarter before checking out for the rest of the game with 87 seconds left in the period.

The Cavaliers (50-32) will begin their attempt at a fourth straight Eastern Conference title as the fourth seed, facing the fifth-seeded Indiana Pacers.

76ers 130, Bucks 95

Dario Saric scored 24 points, Justin Anderson added 25 points off the bench, and Philadelphia roared into the postseason with a rout of visiting Milwaukee to secure the third seed in the Eastern Conference.

The Sixers closed the regular season on a 16-game winning streak, the longest ever for a team entering the postseason, winning half of those games with All-Star center Joel Embiid sidelined by a facial fracture.

As the No. 3 seed, Philadelphia will take on the sixth-seeded Heat. Meanwhile, the Bucks slipped into the No. 7 seed and will face the second-seeded Boston Celtics in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Milwaukee got 25 points from Jabari Parker.

Kings 96, Rockets 83

Willie Cauley-Stein scored 22 points and collected 11 rebounds as host Sacramento recorded a victory over NBA-best Houston.

Buddy Hield added 14 points and Bogdan Bogdanovic and Vince Carter scored 12 apiece as Sacramento (27-55) completed its 12th consecutive losing season. Meanwhile, the setback was just the fourth in the past 35 games for Houston (65-17).

One night after the Rockets lost forward Luc Mbah a Moute to a dislocated shoulder, coach Mike D'Antoni held out his star backcourt of James Harden (ankle) and Chris Paul (rest) plus four other players. Gerald Green led the depleted Houston roster with a season-high 31 points.

Celtics 110, Nets 97

Aron Baynes powered a short-handed Boston squad with a career-high 26 points and 14 rebounds to help the Celtics beat visiting Brooklyn. Jonathan Gibson added a career-high 18 points for the Celtics.

Guerschon Yabusele had a career-best 16 and Shane Larkin totaled 12 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists for the Celtics, who played only nine players and rested regulars Al Horford, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Terry Rozier and Marcus Morris. Boston finished second in the Eastern Conference.

Nik Stauskus had 18 points and Allen Crabbe added 16 and seven rebounds to lead Brooklyn. The Nets lost six of their last 11 and finished outside the playoffs for the third straight year.

Magic 101, Wizards 92

Rodney Purvis scored 16 points while Mario Hezonja scored 15 for Orlando in a win over visiting Washington.

The Wizards (43-39) came into the game as the final seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, and the loss prevented Washington from moving up. John Wall and Otto Porter Jr. sat out for the Wizards.

Jodie Meeks led Washington with 18 points.

Lakers 115, Clippers 100

The Los Angeles Lakers extracted a small measure of revenge for six years of frustration when rookie Josh Hart poured in a season-best 30 points in a thumping of the rival Los Angeles Clippers.

The win was just the Lakers' third in 24 meetings with the Clippers since 2012 and allowed them to avoid what would have been a fourth season-series sweep over that six-year run.

Lakers guard Gary Payton II, who had never previously scored more than eight points, added 25 points and a career-high 12 rebounds. Tobias Harris had a team-high 23 points for the Clippers, who finished the season losing six of their last seven.

Pistons 119, Bulls 87

Rookie swingman Luke Kennard scored a career-high 23 points, and Detroit blew out Chicago in a game featuring teams that missed the playoffs.

Eric Moreland also had a big night, posting career highs with 16 points and 17 rebounds along with four assists, four steals and four blocks. Anthony Tolliver had 18 points, and Henry Ellenson contributed 14 points with 10 rebounds for Detroit.

Lauri Markkanen had 20 points and eight rebounds and Sean Kilpatrick scored 14 points for Chicago.

Standings provided by Sofascore LiveScore

 

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