76ers wrap up Eastern title, Wizards clinch play-in spot

Sports

PHILADELPHIA (AP)Seth Curry scored 20 points, Joel Embiid had 13 points and 11 rebounds and the Philadelphia 76ers clinched the top seed for the playoffs in the Eastern Conference with a 122-97 victory over the Orlando Magic on Friday night.

Ben Simmons added 13 points and nine assists to help the 76ers improve to 48-23. Philadelphia could’ve clinched earlier this week, but lost at Indiana on Tuesday and at Miami on Thursday.

Embiid didn’t play against the Pacers due to illness and logged just 25 minutes against the Heat. Embiid, Simmons and the rest of Philadelphia’s starters relaxed on the bench in the fourth quarter with the 76ers up big.

Ignas Brazdeikis scored 21 points for the Magic. They have lost six straight.

WIZARDS 120, CAVALIERS 105

WASHINGTON (AP) – Russell Westbrook had his first triple-double since passing Oscar Robertson and becoming the NBA’s career leader, lifting Washington past Cleveland and helping the Wizards clinch a spot in the play-in tournament.

Westbrook had 21 points, 17 assists and 12 rebounds for his 183rd triple-double and league-leading 37th this season.

Davis Bertans scored 17 points, and Rui Hachimura and Robin Lopez each had 14.

Washington clinched a spot in the NBA’s new play-in tournament for the playoffs involving the Nos. 7-10 seeds in each conference.

Collin Sexton had 26 points for Cleveland.

MAVERICKS 114, RAPTORS 110

DALLAS (AP) – Luka Doncic had his 11th triple-double of the season with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists and Dallas guaranteed a top-six finish in the Western Conference to avoid the NBA’s play-in next week, beating Toronto.

Kristaps Porzingis added 21 points and 10 rebounds.

The Southwest Division-winning Mavericks are in fifth place in the West, with a one-game lead over Portland for the No. 5 seed with one game remaining for both teams. The Trail Blazers have the tiebreaker if they finish with the same record, because they won two of three against Dallas this season.

Toronto used only seven players, going without its top seven scorers – mostly because of injuries, but also with the season winding down and the Raptors out of contention for even a play-in spot in the East.

Raptors rookie Jalen Harris, a Dallas native making his second career start in as many nights, had 31 points to lead Toronto. Malachi Flynn had 26 points.

JAZZ 109, THUNDER 93

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Bojan Bogdanovic scored 22 points and Utah beat Oklahoma to inch closer to claiming the top overall seed.

The Jazz have a 1 1/2-game lead over Western rival Phoenix. Utah can clinch the top seed with a win at Sacramento on Sunday or a loss by Phoenix against San Antonio on Saturday or Sunday.

Jordan Clarkson scored 18 points and Rudy Gobert had 16 points and 18 rebounds for the Jazz. All-Star guard Michael Conley returned after missing nine games with a right hamstring injury and scored 10 points in 16 minutes.

Svi Mykhailiuk scored 19 points for Oklahoma City, They have lost nine in a row.

NUGGETS 104, PISTONS 91

DETROIT (AP) – Markus Howard scored a career-high 20 points, Nikola Jokic had a triple-double and Denver beat Detroit to move closer to a higher playoff seed.

Jokic had 20 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists.

Detroit lost for the 11th time in 13 games. Hamadou Diallo led the Pistons with 18 points.

ROCKETS 122, CLIPPERS 115

HOUSTON (AP) – Kelly Olynyk scored 20 points and fell a rebound shy of a triple-double as Houston snapped a seven-game skid with a victory over a Los Angeles team that rested several starters.

Olynyk had 11 assists and nine rebounds to help the Rockets win for the first time since April 29.

The Clippers were without Paul George, Kawhi Leonard and Patrick Beverley as all three sat out on the second night of back-to-back games as the team prepares for the playoffs.

The loss coupled with a win by Denver on Friday night leaves the Clippers in a tie for third place in the Western Conference with one game remaining.

The NBA-worst Rockets won for the second time in the last 14 games.

WARRIORS 125, PELICANS 122

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Jordan Poole scored a career-high 38 points despite an injury scare in the third quarter and Golden State held off New Orleans.

Mychal Mulder added a career-high 28 points as the Warriors won their fifth straight game – all at home, including back-to-back victories Monday and Tuesday against top West teams in Utah and Phoenix. Stephen Curry sat out the game to rest.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker scored 30 points for New Orleans.

GRIZZLIES 107, KINGS 106

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – Justise Winslow had season highs with 25 points and 13 rebounds and Memphis held on to beat Sacramento.

Killian Tillie and Xavier Tillman each had 16 points for Memphis, with Tillman adding 10 rebounds. John Konchar finished with 15 points.

Louis King led the Kings with a career-high 27 points, and Damian Jones added 17. Justin James scored 16 after scoring a career-high 31 in Sacramento’s loss to Memphis on Thursday night.

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