The Miami Heat clinched a spot in the playoffs for the fourth time in the past six seasons by beating the hosts Boston Celtics 129-121 on Tuesday night.
Miami won in Boston for the second consecutive game, all but relegating the Celtics to the NBA’s play-in tournament. Miami have a three-game lead and hold the head-to-head tiebreaker on the Celtics with each team having three regular-season contests to play.
Tyler Herro led the Heat with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Duncan Robinson and Bam Adebayo scored 22 apiece.
Kemba Walker had a season-high 36 points to lead the Celtics. Jayson Tatum amassed 33 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
Caris LeVert scored 24 points and Domantas Sabonis posted a triple-double with 16 points, 15 assists and 13 rebounds to lead hosts Indiana Pacers to a comeback 103-94 win over Philadelphia.
The Pacers clinched a berth in the Eastern Conference play-in tournament with their second consecutive victory coupled with the Chicago Bulls’ loss to the Brooklyn Nets.
Tobias Harris scored a game-high 27 points for the Sixers, who were without star center Joel Embiid due to an illness not related to COVID-19 and had their season-long eight-game winning streak snapped.
Talen Horton-Tucker hit the decisive 3-pointer with 20.3 seconds left in overtime, lifting Los Angeles Lakers over visiting New York Knicks 101-99.
The 20-year-old guard scored eight of his 13 points in extra time. Kyle Kuzma paced the Lakers with 23 points. Anthony Davis added 20 points, and Andre Drummond chipped in with 16 points and 18 rebounds.
Facing his former team, Julius Randle totalled a game-high 31 points for New York. Derrick Rose contributed 27 points, six rebounds and six assists off the bench.
Terence Davis came off the bench to score 27 points, leading Sacramento Kings to a home win over Oklahoma City Thunder 122-106.
With their sixth victory in seven games, the Kings kept their faint playoff hopes alive for at least another day. With three games remaining, Sacramento need to win out and have the San Antonio Spurs lose the rest of their games to have a chance at making the Western Conference play-in tournament.
Kenrich Williams led Oklahoma City with 20 points. Darius Bazley had 18 points, and Moses Brown finished with 10 points and 13 rebounds.
Andrew Wiggins, Juan Toscano-Anderson and Jordan Poole buried consecutive 3-pointers in the final 2:58, capping a Golden State Warriors comeback that resulted in a 122-116 victory over visiting Phoenix Suns.
Wiggins exploded for a game-high 38 points as the Warriors completed a two-night sweep of the top two teams in the Western Conference to remain a half-game ahead of Memphis in their duel for the eighth position in the West’s play-in tournament.
Devin Booker went for a team-high 34 points for the Suns, who fell two games behind idle Utah atop the West with just three to play.
Giannis Antetokounmpo recorded 27 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and three steals to lead Milwaukee Bucks over visiting Orlando Magic 114-102.
Donte DiVincenzo scored 19 points as the Bucks won for the sixth time in the past seven games. Brook Lopez added 17 points and Jrue Holiday had 15 for Milwaukee. The Bucks remain one game behind the Brooklyn Nets for second place in the Eastern Conference with three games left.
Cole Anthony scored 18 points and Moritz Wagner registered 17 points and a season-best 13 rebounds for Orlando, which has lost four straight games and 17 of their past 21.
Kawhi Leonard had 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists as Los Angeles Clippers defeated hosts Toronto Raptors 115-96 in Tampa.
Ivica Zubac added 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Clippers in the opener of their four-game road trip as they try to clinch third place in the Western Conference. Terance Mann had 20 points on 7-for-7 shooting off the bench for Los Angeles.
Chris Boucher scored 16 points and had seven rebounds for the depleted Raptors, who have lost four in a row and were eliminated from playoff contention Monday night.
Michael Porter Jr. and Nikola Jokic pumped in 30 points apiece as Denver Nuggets broke a two-game losing streak by defeating hosts Charlotte Hornets 117-112.
Jokic, who also had a game-high 11 rebounds and added six assists, made 16 of 17 free throws. Aaron Gordon provided 17 points as Denver continued pursuit of a top-three seed in the Western Conference.
Devonte’ Graham scored 31 points off the bench, thanks to 7-for-14 shooting from 3-point range, to lead Charlotte. Terry Rozier had 21 points, Jalen McDaniels and Cody Zeller (10 rebounds) both posted 15 points.
Other scores: Timberwolves 119, Pistons 100; Nets 115, Bulls 107; Grizzlies 133, Mavericks 104. (Reuters)