NBA roundup: Wizards beat Celtics, clinch East’s fifth seed
Boston Celtics guard Phil Pressey (26) passes the ball against the defense of Washington Wizards center Kevin Seraphin (13) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Wednesday, April 16, 2014. (AP / Elise Amendola)
The Associated Press
Published Thursday, April 17, 2014 7:34AM EDT
BOSTON -- Bradley Beal scored 27 points and Washington clinched the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference with a 118-102 win over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night.
The Wizards will be facing Chicago in their first playoff appearance since 2008.
Trevor Booker scored 20 points, Marcin Gortat had 15 with 10 rebounds, and John Wall 15 points for Washington, which finished the regular season 44-38. It's the most wins for the franchise since 45 in 2004-05.
The Wizards jumped over Brooklyn and into fifth place after the Nets lost in Cleveland.
Boston sat injured guards Rajon Rondo and Jerryd Bayless, and injured forwards Kris Humphries and Jared Sullinger, finishing with a 25-57 record. It was the club's worst since going 24-58 in 2006-07, the year before acquiring Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and winning its 17th NBA title.
CAVALIERS 114, NETS 85
CLEVELAND -- Brooklyn coach Jason Kidd sat his starters for the playoffs and the Nets closed the regular season with a loss that dropped them to the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Although the Nets could have clinched the Eastern Conference's No. 5 spot with a win, Kidd elected to rest Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Joe Johnson, Deron Williams and Shaun Livingston, who spent the night on the bench as the world's highest-paid cheerleading squad. Kidd also limited the minutes of key reserves and used only seven players.
Tyler Zeller scored 22 points with 11 rebounds and Dion Waiters scored 19 for the Cavaliers, who finished a disappointing 33-49 in coach Mike Brown's first season back and missed the playoffs for the fourth straight year. All-Star Kyrie Irving scored 15.
KNICKS 95, RAPTORS 92
NEW YORK -- The New York Knicks finished their disappointing season with a victory and Toronto blew a 21-point lead but earned the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Toronto will host the Brooklyn Nets, who fell to the No. 6 seed, in its playoff opener Saturday.
Cole Aldrich made the tiebreaking dunk with 1:23 left for the Knicks, who won their final four games to finish 37-45. J.R. Smith scored 30 points, while Aldrich finished with 13 points and 16 rebounds.
Kyle Lowry scored 22 points in 26 minutes for the Raptors, who finished 48-34.
BOBCATS 91, BULLS 86, OT
CHARLOTTE, N.C.-- Kemba Walker scored eight of his 22 points in overtime to help Charlotte defeat Chicago.
Al Jefferson added 10 points and 18 rebounds for Charlotte, and Chris Douglas-Roberts finished with 13 points after being held scoreless for the first three quarters.
Josh McRoberts made a key play in overtime, blocking D.J. Augustin's 3-point attempt. Walker grabbed the loose ball and raced the length of the court for a layup that gave the Bobcats an 88-81 lead with 1 minute left.
Joakim Noah finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds for Chicago, Carlos Boozer added 14 points and 11 rebounds, and Augustin scored 17 points
PACERS 101, MAGIC 86
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Rasual Butler and Chris Copeland each scored 19 points as Indiana rested key players and still cruised.
The Eastern Conference's top seed ended the season winning three of four to shake off a nasty late-season slump. The Pacers will open the playoffs against eighth-seed Atlanta.
Indiana held out Paul George, Lance Stephenson and David West against the Magic. Also getting the night off was reserve Ian Mahinmi.
Maurice Harkless led the Magic with 14 points, and E'Twaun Moore added 13.
Orlando ended the season losing 16 of their last 20, with the fifth-worst record in franchise history.
76ERS 100, HEAT 87
MIAMI -- Thaddeus Young scored 20 points, Michael Carter-Williams had 12 in the final game of his impressive rookie campaign for Philadelphia.
It was Philadelphia's second win of the season over the two-time defending NBA champions, though Miami was that in name only Wednesday. LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Mario Chalmers and Chris Andersen were held out to rest for the playoffs, which for the Heat begin on Sunday at home against the Charlotte Bobcats.
Brandon Davies had 11 points, while Henry Sims, James Anderson and Casper Ware each scored 10 for the 76ers (19-63).
Dwyane Wade scored 16 points in 23 minutes for Miami (54-28), which got 13 from Toney Douglas and 11 from Ray Allen.
HAWKS 111, BUCKS 103
MILWAUKEE -- Mike Scott scored 17 points and the Atlanta Hawks ended the regular season with a 111-103 win Wednesday over the Bucks, hours after Milwaukee owner Herb Kohl announced he was selling his team.
Dennis Schroder added 15 for the Hawks, who rallied from a 12-point deficit in the first half.
Atlanta is locked into the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs and a first-round date with the Indiana Pacers. Scott started for forward Paul Millsap, who was rested to get ready for the post-season.
Brandon Knight scored 31 points to lead the Bucks, who finished an NBA-worst 15-67.
Milwaukee's dismal season is over, though there is more certainty about the team's future after the prospective new owners said they wanted to build a new arena in Milwaukee.
GRIZZLIES 106, MAVERICKS 105, OT
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Mike Conley hit two free throws with 1.1 seconds left in overtime, and Memphis grabbed the Western Conference's No. 7 seed away from Dallas.
Monta Ellis missed a 17-footer before Conley drew the foul driving to the basket. Dallas had one last shot, but Ellis missed from the top of the key.
Memphis became the seventh team in the West with 50 wins this season. The Grizzlies, who set a franchise record with a 14th straight home win in a single season, will open the post-season Saturday at Oklahoma City.
Avoiding No. 1 seed San Antonio in the first round was the only thing on the line, and Memphis has lost 14 of its last 16 against the Spurs with the Mavericks losing nine straight.
THUNDERS 112, PISTONS 111
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Kevin Durant scored 42 points, including 21 in the fourth quarter, and Oklahoma City secured the No. 2 playoff seed in the Western Conference.
Oklahoma City (59-23) had lost two straight to put itself in the must-win situation in the regular-season finale to earn the No. 2 seed. Durant brought the Thunder back while recording his 14th 40-point game of the season.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored a career-high 30 points for the Pistons (29-53), while Greg Monroe had 22, Kyle Singler added 20 and Andre Drummond recorded his ninth straight double-double to end the season for Detroit, finishing with 22 points and 13 rebounds.
PELICANS 105, ROCKETS 100
NEW ORLEANS -- Tyreke Evans had 25 points and 10 assists, and New Orleans closed out a difficult season with a crowd pleasing victory.
It was the second straight victory for the Pelicans, both starring Evans' relentless hustle and forceful dribble-drives. Evans was nearly held out of the low-stakes games with a bruised right knee, but insisted on playing.
He gave New Orleans the lead for good with a driving layup with 2:35 left, then sealed it with a powerful move in which he wedged his way between Jordan Hamilton and Josh Powell for a running, right-handed hook from the lane.
Austin Rivers added 18 points and Anthony Morrow 15 for the Pelicans, who shot 52.4 per cent.
Troy Daniels hit 6 3s and finished with 22 points for playoff-bound Houston, which rested James Harden, Chandler Parsons and Jeremy Lin.
LAKERS 113, SPURS 100
SAN ANTONIO -- Jordan Hill had 18 points and 14 rebounds and the Lakers closed their worst season since they moved to Los Angeles with a victory over San Antonio.
Nick Young scored 16 points and Kendall Marshall added 15 points to help Los Angeles close the season with a two-game winning streak.
The Lakers (27-55) are expected to look dramatically different next season after finishing with their worst record since moving to Los Angeles.
Kawhi Leonard had 14 points to lead San Antonio, which did not have anyone play more than 27 minutes. The Spurs (62-19) had an opportunity to match their best record, but opted to rest in preparation for defence of their conference title.
JAZZ 136, TIMBERWOLVES 130, 2OT
MINNEAPOLIS -- Trey Burke scored a career-high 32 points to go with nine assists and seven rebounds and the Jazz avoided their worst record since moving to Utah 35 years ago.
Gordon Hayward had 23 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, and Derrick Favours added 21 points and 12 boards for the Jazz (25-57), who would have tied the worst record since the team relocated in 1979 with a loss. They also snapped a five-game losing streak and won for just the fourth time in their last 25 games.
Kevin Martin scored 36 points for the Timberwolves (40-42), who missed a chance to finish with their first non-losing record since 2005. Kevin Love scored 19 points on 4-for-15 shooting in what could be Rick Adelman's last game as an NBA coach.