NBA: Boston Celtics beat Indiana Pacers to secure playoff spot for sixth year running; Brooklyn Nets edge past LA Lakers
Jayson Tatum scored 30 points for Boston while Gordon Hayward added 27 points, 10 boards and five assists in his home state
Marcus Smart’s leaning bank shot in the final minute gave the Celtics' the lead after the team blew a 19-point advantage, and Boston held on for a 114-111 victory Tuesday night over the Indiana Pacers to clinch a playoff spot for a sixth consecutive year
Spencer Dinwiddie scored 23 points and hit the tiebreaking jumper with 28.3 seconds to play, and the Nets beat the Lakers for their second straight win since interim coach Jacque Vaughn took over
James Harden scored 37 points and Houston beat Minnesota, snapping a four-game skid
Marcus Smart’s leaning bank shot in the final minute gave the Celtics' the lead after the team blew a 19-point advantage, and Boston held on for a 114-111 victory Tuesday night over the Indiana Pacers to clinch a playoff spot for a sixth consecutive year.
Jayson Tatum scored 30 points for Boston while Gordon Hayward added 27 points, 10 boards and five assists in his home state.
🏀 FINAL SCORE THREAD 🏀
Jayson Tatum (30 PTS) and the @celtics clinch a playoff berth!
Gordon Hayward: 27 PTS, 10 REB
Victor Oladipo: 27 PTS, 5 3PM pic.twitter.com/VEBKRmJoox
— NBA (@NBA) March 11, 2020
Smart put the Celtics ahead for good at 111-109 with 49.7 seconds left by scoring in the lane over Domantis Sabonis, who led Indiana with 28 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.
Smart made two free throws with seven seconds to go for a three-point edge, and Justin Holiday missed badly on a contested 3-pointer as time expired.
Victor Oladipo finished with a season-high 27 points to power a stunning comeback for the Pacers, who fell into an 85-66 hole late in the third quarter.
Brooklyn Nets 104 — 102 Los Angeles Lakers
Spencer Dinwiddie scored 23 points and hit the tiebreaking jumper with 28.3 seconds to play, and the Nets beat the Lakers for their second straight win since interim coach Jacque Vaughn took over.
— NBA (@NBA) March 11, 2020
Anthony Davis missed a wide-open 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have won it for the Lakers, whose four-game winning streak ended after an emotionally charged weekend. Los Angeles lost to a sub-.500 opponent in their first game after back-to-back victories over NBA-leading Milwaukee and the powerhouse Clippers.
Caris LeVert added 22 points as Brooklyn opened their four-game California road trip by knocking off the powerhouse Lakers, who lost for only the second time in 13 games. Vaughn's Nets unbeaten since he surprisingly replaced Kenny Atkinson last week.
LeBron James had 29 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists for the Lakers.
Houston Rockets 117 — 111 Minnesota Timberwolves
James Harden scored 37 points and Houston beat Minnesota, snapping a four-game skid.
— NBA (@NBA) March 11, 2020
The Rockets' losing streak, which matched a season-high, came after they won six in a row and dropped them to sixth in the Western Conference with the playoffs fast approaching.
Russell Westbrook scored 27 points for Houston.
D'Angelo Russell had 28 points to lead the Timberwolves, who lost their third straight.
San Antonio Spurs 119 — 109 Dallas Mavericks
LaMarcus Aldridge had 24 points in his return from injury and San Antonio withstood Luka Doncic’s 38 points to beat Dallas and keep their playoff hopes afloat.
San Antonio had seven players in double figures in snapping a two-game skid. Rudy Gay scored 17 points, Trey Lyles had 14 points and 11 rebounds and DeMar DeRozan added 13 points and 12 assists.
Doncic added seven rebounds and seven assists in 36 minutes. Tim Hardaway Jr added 20 points.
Dallas remains seventh in the West, 6 1/2 games ahead of Memphis.
The Spurs moved four games behind the Grizzles for the eighth seed in their bid to earn an NBA-record 23rd straight playoff appearance.
Orlando Magic 120 — 115 Memphis Grizzlies
Terrence Ross scored 24 points, fueling a rally with 18 in the fourth quarter, and Orlando beat Memphis.
Michael Carter-Williams added 20 points and Nikola Vucevic finished with 19 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists for the Magic.
Jonas Valanciunas led Memphis with 27 points and 16 rebounds, while Dillon Brooks and rookie Ja Morant finished with 21 points each.
The game, featuring two teams holding down the eighth and final spot in their respective conferences, was competitive until the final minute. A 3-point attempt by Memphis guard Tyus Jones bounced off the rim in the final seconds, preserving the Magic's third straight victory.
Portland Trail Blazers 121 — 105 Phoenix Suns
Damian Lillard scored 25 points and Portland beat Phoenix.
The win snapped a two-game skid for the Blazers, who are among several teams vying to pull in front of Memphis for the eighth playoff spot in the West.
Trevor Ariza and CJ McCollum had 22 points apiece and Hassan Whiteside added 16 points and 14 rebounds for Portland.
Devin Booker scored 29 points for the Suns.
Los Angeles Clippers 131 — 107 Golden State Warriors
Kawhi Leonard scored 23 points before sitting out the entire fourth quarter along with the rest of the Doc Rivers’ starters, Los Angeles thumped Golden State.
Paul George and Patrick Beverley scored 15 points apiece as the Clippers had seven players in double figures. Reggie Jackson added 16 points and JaMychal Green had 13 points and 10 rebounds.
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) March 11, 2020
The Clippers moved a game ahead of Denver for second place in the West.
Dragan Bender matched his career-high of 23 points for Golden State. Andrew Wiggins scored 21 and Marquese Chriss had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Washington Wizards 122 — 115 New York Knicks
Bradley Beal got back to his high-scoring ways with 40 points, lifting Washington past New York.
Beal overcame a slow start and surpassed the 25-point plateau for the 22nd time in 23 games. His string of 21 such games was snapped Sunday when he scored 23 in a loss to Miami.
The Wizards' win meant the Heat will have to wait at least one more day to clinch an Eastern Conference playoff spot.
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) March 11, 2020
Shabazz Napier added 21 points for the Wizards.
Bobby Portis and Frank Nkilitina led the Knicks with 20 points apiece.
Chicago Bulls 108 — 103 Cleveland Cavaliers
Coby White scored 20 points to help offset a career-high nine turnovers in his first NBA start, and Chicago beat Cleveland.
Coby White is a HOOPER.
20 points | 5 rebs | 5 assists pic.twitter.com/kKn7ktQa08
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) March 11, 2020
Wendell Carter Jr. added 17 points. Lauri Markkanen, Denzel Valentine and Otto Porter Jr. each scored 15. Shaquille Harrison grabbed 10 rebounds. And the Bulls held off the Eastern Conference's last-place team to win for just the third time in 16 games.
Collin Sexton led Cleveland with 26 points, giving him 25 or more in seven of the past eight games. Andre Drummond scored 21.
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic averaged 27.1 points per game with 13.8 rebounds and 7.9 assists this season.
NBA: Boston Celtics beat reigning champions Milwaukee in game seven to reach Eastern Conference Finals
Grant Williams scored 27 points as the Boston Celtics eliminated the reigning champion Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday with a 109-81 game seven victory.
The Bucks erased fourth-quarter deficit to beat Boston 110-107 and push the Celtics to the brink of NBA playoff elimination as the Grizzlies stayed alive with a 134-95 drubbing of Golden State.