Devin Booker made two free throws with 2.4 seconds left as the Phoenix Suns edged the Portland Trail Blazers 118-117 on Thursday night.
Thursday night's NBA results
|Portland Trail Blazers 117 - 118 Phoenix Suns|
|Sacramento Kings 110 - 116 Memphis Grizzlies|
|Philadelphia 76ers 94 - 106 Miami Heat|
|Toronto Raptors 102 - 114 Chicago Bulls|
|San Antonio Spurs 98 - 102 New York Knicks|
|Milwaukee Bucks 142 - 133 Indiana Pacers|
|Denver Nuggets 103 - 114 Minnesota Timberwolves|
|Los Angeles Clippers 113 - 90 Charlotte Hornets|
|Orlando Magic 93 - 116 Atlanta Hawks|
Portland Trail Blazers 117 - 118 Phoenix Suns
Chris Paul recorded 26 points and seven assists and Mikal Bridges added 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Suns (49-21), who moved one game behind the Utah Jazz in the battle for the Western Conference's top seed.
Damian Lillard scored 24 of his 41 points in the fourth quarter for the Trail Blazers, who had a five-game winning streak snapped and failed to clinch a main-draw playoff spot.
Portland (41-30) is in sixth place in the West, a half-game ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers in its bid to stay out of the Play-In Tournament.
CJ McCollum added 27 points for Portland. Lillard scored at least 30 points for the seventh straight game.
Cameron Payne scored 21 points and Booker added 18 for the Suns. Phoenix center Deandre Ayton (knee) missed a game for the first time this season.
Portland took its first lead of the final quarter when Robert Covington made two free throws with 1:13 to play. Dario Saric missed three of four throws to leave the Suns behind by one before Lillard drove for a basket to give the Trail Blazers a 117-114 lead with 34.7 seconds remaining.
Bridges hit two free throws to bring Phoenix within one with 32 seconds left. Lillard missed a three-point attempt with 9.6 seconds left, but the Suns' next possession was halted when Carmelo Anthony forced Booker to double dribble with 5.6 seconds to play.
Covington missed two free throws with five seconds left prior to Booker being fouled by Norman Powell and hitting the winning free throws.
McCollum's last-ditch three-point attempt caromed off the rim.
Sacramento Kings 110 - 116 Memphis Grizzlies
Kyle Anderson ignited a 12-0 finish with a pair of hoops, including a three-pointer, and Jonas Valanciunas converted a three-point play to give Memphis the lead for good with 1:23 remaining as the Grizzlies formally eliminated the visiting Sacramento Kings from playoff contention with a 116-110 victory.
Dillon Brooks scored a team-high 30 points, the seventh 30-point game of his career, and Valanciunas recorded a double-double with 24 points and a game-high 13 rebounds for the Grizzlies (37-33), who assured their position in the NBA Play-In Tournament - either eighth or ninth - will be determined in the season finale Sunday at Golden State.
The Kings, a Play-In longshot whose hopes were kept alive when the San Antonio Spurs were beaten by the New York Knicks earlier Thursday night, came up short despite a career-best 31 points from Justin James.
Anderson finished with 14 points and a game-high nine assists for Memphis, while Clarke, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Ja Morant chipped in with 12 points apiece.
Philadelphia 76ers 94 - 106 Miami Heat
Jimmy Butler scored 21 points and the Miami Heat took a big early lead and never looked back in a 106-94 win over the visiting Philadelphia 76ers.
The result kept Philadelphia (47-23) from clinching the top playoff seed in the Eastern Conference. The Sixers, who took their second loss in a row, would clinch first place with a win over the visiting Orlando Magic on Friday night.
The Heat (39-31) earned their fourth consecutive win and prevailed for the seventh time in eight games. Miami, who are tied for fifth in the East with the New York Knicks (39-31), have two games left as it tries to climb past the fourth-place Atlanta Hawks. The Heat and Knicks both trail the Hawks by a 1/2 game.
Miami ends the regular season with games at Milwaukee on Saturday and at Detroit on Sunday.
The Heat, who shot 50.6 per cent from the floor, got 18 points apiece from Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro. Adebayo added 12 rebounds and eight assists. Goran Dragic scored 15, Kendrick Nunn had 13 and Trevor Ariza contributed 10.
Tobias Harris led the 76ers with 21 points. Shake Milton put up 12 points and Danny Green had 11.
Sixers center Joel Embiid, back in the line-up after he missed the Tuesday game at Indiana with a non-COVID illness, was limited to six points and two rebounds in 25 minutes. He shot 3 of 9 from the floor.
Toronto Raptors 102 - 114 Chicago Bulls
Zach LaVine scored eight of his 24 points in the fourth quarter and the Chicago Bulls defeated the visiting Toronto Raptors 114-102.
The Bulls overcame a career-best 35 points by Toronto's Stanley Johnson, who also had 10 rebounds.
Lauri Markkanen added 20 points off the bench and Nikola Vucevic tallied 16 points and 16 rebounds for the Bulls, who kept their faint chances for the Play-In Tournament alive.
The depleted Raptors, who already had been eliminated from playoff contention, have lost five in a row.
The Bulls (30-40) won all three games against the Raptors (27-43) this season. Coby White added 17 points and 10 assists for the Bulls, and Javonte Green and Thaddeus Young each scored 10 points.
Jalen Harris added a career-best 17 points for Toronto. Malachi Flynn added 16, Khem Birch 14 points and DeAndre' Bembry 12.
San Antonio Spurs 98 - 102 New York Knicks
Alec Burks scored a season-high 30 points, including the tiebreaking three-point play with 3:16 remaining, as the New York Knicks overcame a 17-point deficit and eked out a 102-98 victory over the visiting San Antonio Spurs.
Playing only for the third time in 14 games due to COVID-19 and a knee injury, Burks scored 16 points in the fourth quarter. He shot 11 of 20 overall from the field, hit five three-pointers and also grabbed 10 rebounds.
Julius Randle added 25 points to go along with nine rebounds and nine assists after being presented with his Eastern Conference Player of the Month Award before the game. RJ Barrett chipped in 24 for the Knicks (39-31), who won for the 14th time in 18 games since April 7.
The Knicks remained in sixth place in the Eastern Conference. They hold the same record with the Miami Heat but not the head-to-head tiebreaker and remain a half-game behind the Atlanta Hawks.
DeMar DeRozan scored 27 points with eight rebounds and four assists as the Spurs (33-37) lost for the eighth time in 10 games. The Spurs, however, clinched a Play-In berth when the Sacramento Kings lost to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Milwaukee Bucks 142 - 133 Indiana Pacers
Giannis Antetokounmpo's 40 points, 15 rebounds and six assists led the Milwaukee Bucks to a 142-133 victory over the host Indiana Pacers.
The Bucks (45-25) pulled to within one game of the Brooklyn Nets, who hold second place in the Eastern Conference.
The Pacers (33-37) remained tied with the Charlotte Hornets for eighth place in the East, but their lead over the 10th-place Washington Wizards is now one game with two left to play.
Indiana continued to struggle at home, falling to 13-22 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Bucks swept the season series against the Pacers for the first time since 2010.
Khris Middleton scored 22 points while Brook Lopez had 21 points and eight rebounds for the Bucks. Jrue Holiday finished with 20 points and 14 assists, and Bobby Portis had 12 points on 5-for-6 shooting off the bench.
Denver Nuggets 103 - 114 Minnesota Timberwolves
Nikola Jokic helped his cause in the Most Valuable Player race with 31 points and 14 rebounds, leading the Denver Nuggets to a 114-103 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minneapolis.
Jokic's three-point play - drawing a foul on Karl-Anthony Towns on a one-legged, step-back jumper - capped an 8-0 run in the middle of the fourth quarter that effectively put away the win for Denver (46-24).
The Nuggets improved to 2-0 on their season-ending, four-game road swing, but not without a fight from Minnesota (22-48).
The Timberwolves' Anthony Edwards strengthened his bid for NBA Rookie of the Year with 29 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Towns wound up with 20 points and 11 rebounds for Minnesota, which cut a 13-point, third-quarter deficit down to three heading into the final period.
Los Angeles Clippers 113 - 90 Charlotte Hornets
Paul George scored 20 points and the Los Angeles Clippers put together an overwhelming second-half stretch to beat the host Charlotte Hornets 113-90.
Reggie Jackson poured in 19 points, Kawhi Leonard posted 16 points with nine assists and Marcus Morris Sr. provided 15 points for Los Angeles. Nic Batum, a former Hornet, finished with 11 points as the Clippers improved to 2-0 midway through a four-game road trip to complete the regular season.
The Clippers made 21 of 45 attempts from three-point range, with George and Jackson each connecting on five. George also grabbed 10 rebounds.
Los Angeles (47-23) has maintained a slim lead on the Denver Nuggets for third place in the Western Conference playoff pecking order.
The Hornets (33-37), who were playing in their home finale, have a three-game losing streak despite sealing a spot in the Eastern Conference postseason Play-In round during that time frame.
LaMelo Ball racked up 18 points and Bismack Biyombo had 13 points for Charlotte, which received 10 points apiece from Jalen McDaniels, Terry Rozier and Cody Zeller.
Orlando Magic 93 - 116 Atlanta Hawks
Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 27 points as the Atlanta Hawks continued their home dominance with a 116-93 victory over the Orlando Magic.
Bogdanovic, who was questionable to play because of a hamstring injury, made 9 of 12 shots from the floor and joined teammate John Collins in sinking four three-pointers.
Trae Young collected 18 points and seven assists for the Hawks, who have won 10 in a row at home and 18 of their past 20 games at State Farm Arena.
Clint Capela recorded 14 points and 14 rebounds as Atlanta strengthened its hold on fourth place in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks (40-31) remain a half-game ahead of the Miami Heat and New York Knicks, who are both 39-31 after winning Thursday night.
Kevin Huerter finished with 14 points, Collins added 12 points and Danilo Gallinari had 10 for Atlanta, which completed a three-game season sweep of Orlando.