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NBA Scores: Nuggets snap skid, clinch playoff spot

While each conference’s top seed have had sizable leads at the time of their playoff-spot clinching wins, we’re nearing the point in the season where every night has someone punching their ticket. However, Thursday gave us just our second clinching of the season to this point. I have no frame of reference for this whatsoever

NBA Scores: Nuggets snap skid, clinch playoff spot

Whereas every convention’s high seed have had sizable leads on the time of their playoff-spot clinching wins, we’re nearing the purpose within the season the place each night time has somebody punching their ticket. Nonetheless, Thursday gave us simply our second clinching of the season so far.

I’ve no body of reference for this in anyway, however one factor that actually feels bizarre concerning the night time within the Affiliation is that just one successful crew had their respective recreation’s main scorer, and that’s Nikola Jokic placing up 30 as Denver clinched the West’s first playoff spot. Right here’s how he and the Nuggets received it finished:

Denver pulls away late in Detroit, 119-100, clinching a playoff spot

The Nuggets misplaced 4 in a row coming into this one with a chance to clinch a playoff spot. If any crew is nice at giving possibilities for opponents to get proper, it’s Detroit, who’s misplaced 12 of their final 13. Nonetheless, the Pistons had no real interest in making this simple for the Nuggets. Backwards and forwards the 2 squads went over the primary 39 minutes, tied at 91 with 9 minutes remaining.

Nuggets locked in for the stretch run, closing the sport on a 28-9 run. Michael Porter Jr. and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope mixed for 17 factors within the fourth whereas Jokic and Jamal Murray received it going for his or her teammates, combining for eight assists within the body.

Denver has clinched each a playoff spot and their division title, with a high seed clinched not too far off, now 4.5 video games forward of the Kings with 12 video games to go. Pistons missed an opportunity to safe their tenth residence win of the season, however they’re nonetheless within the driver’s seat for the Wembanyama sweepstakes, so who’s the true winner right here?

Kings clinch successful season with 101-96 street win over Nets

Sacramento received out to a freezing chilly begin, particularly by their very own high-octane requirements, scoring simply 10 factors over the primary seven minutes and alter, however as soon as they received going, there wasn’t a lot the Nets may do to restrict them. Sacramento’s 13-point halftime lead was the largest lead of the sport, controlling the entire second half with Brooklyn by no means coming inside one possession.

Domantas Sabonis (24 factors) and De’Aaron Fox (18) as soon as once more led the Kings in scoring whereas 5 different Kings joined them in double-figures, however they misplaced beginning taking pictures guard Kevin Huerter to a hamstring injury which is able to obtain additional testing on Friday.

Raptors separate late in 128-111 win over Thunder

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led all scorers with 29, however the Thunder couldn’t discover greater than 15 from anybody else; Toronto had six totally different gamers with greater than 15, together with all 5 starters led by Pascal Siakam’s 25. The Raptors used a 23-13 run within the fourth quarter to get optimum separation for the win.

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Indiana’s offense fires on all cylinders in 139-123 street win over Milwaukee

The 139 factors that the Pacers held on the Bucks is the second-most Milwaukee has allowed this season and it’s essentially the most during the last three months. Indiana shot 54-97 (55.7%) from the ground and 22-46 (47.8%) from three, which ties their second-highest made threes mark of the season. In addition they dished out a season-high 36 assists with simply eight turnovers.

Three totally different Pacers scored 20+ factors, led by Andrew Nembhard’s 24, whereas 5 others joined them in double-figures. That they had extra to play for than Milwaukee, who was the primary crew to clinch a playoff spot; the win places the Pacers a half recreation behind the Wizards for the ultimate play-in spot.

Suns snap skid with 116-113 win over Magic

Phoenix got here into the night time on a three-game dropping streak and wanted to proper the ship with Kevin Durant nonetheless anticipated to overlook one other week or two a minimum of. They have been capable of preserve their one-game lead over the Clippers for #4 within the West after former Orlando bench scorer Terrence Ross made late free throws to ice the win.

Markelle Fultz, who completed with a stellar 25/7/9 night time, was the sport’s solely 20-point performer, however 5 Suns completed with a minimum of 15. Cam Payne scored 18 off the Phoenix bench for his highest-scoring night time of this calendar 12 months to this point.

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