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Payton Pritchard scores career-high 38 as Celtics beat Wizards 132-122

Sun, Apr 14, 2024
NBA News (AP)

Payton Pritchard scores career-high 38 as Celtics beat Wizards 132-122

BOSTON (AP) - Payton Pritchard scored a career-high 38 points and the NBA-best Boston Celtics rested their entire starting lineup in a 132-122 victory over the Washington Wizards on Sunday in the teams' regular-season finale.

Svi Mykhailiuk added 26 points and Sam Hauser 16 for Boston, which sat Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kristaps Porzingis, Derrick White and Jrue Holiday along with top reserve Al Horford.

Pritchard added 12 assists with nine rebounds. In last year's final regular-season game, the 6-foot-1 Pritchard had a triple-double with 30 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists, joining Larry Bird and John Havlicek as the only Celtics with at least 30 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists in a game.

The Celtics (64-18) finished their 15th season in club history with 60 or more wins, the most recent in 2008 when they captured the NBA title.


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Myles Turner had 31 points and Pascal Siakam scored 28 as Indiana beat Atlanta and avoided falling into the play-in tournament.

Indiana secured at least the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference with a dominant regular-season finale. The Pacers shot 65% and made 19 of 36 3-pointers.

READ MORE LeBron James' triple-double lifts Lakers over Pelicans and into a play-in rematch with New Orleans Suns skip play-in by toppling T-wolves 125-106 to set up 1st-round rematch Thunder rout Mavericks 135-86 to clinch No. 1 seed in Western Conference

The 157 points matched the Pacers' highest-scoring game since they joined the NBA in 1976. The record was set earlier this season in their 157-152 win in the In-Season Tournament on Nov. 21.

Dejounte Murray scored 32 points for the Hawks, who finished the regular season 10th in the East at 36-46 and visit the ninth-placed Chicago Bulls on Wednesday to open the play-in tournament.


NEW YORK (AP) - Jalen Brunson capped one of the best regular seasons in franchise history with his 11th 40-point game, carrying New York into the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference with an overtime victory over Chicago.

The Knicks finished 50-32, their best season since going 54-28 and also earning a No. 2 seed in 2012-13. They moved past Milwaukee after the Bucks lost earlier Sunday in Orlando, and will await the winner of the play-in game between Philadelphia and Miami on Wednesday.

Brunson finished with 40 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, and tied Patrick Ewing for the second-most 40-point games in one season by a Knicks player. Hall of Famer Bernard King did it 13 times in 1984-85, when he set a franchise record with 32.9 points per game.


MIAMI (AP) - Thomas Bryant scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, Jaime Jaquez Jr. added 18 points and Miami tuned up for a trip to the play-in tournament by beating Toronto.

Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro each scored 17 for Miami, while Jimmy Butler scored 15, Caleb Martin 12 and Delon Wright 11 for the Heat.

Wright also had five steals for Miami, which ended 46-36 - good enough for only the No. 8 spot in the East. The Heat will go to Philadelphia to open the play-in tournament on Wednesday, with the winner securing the No. 7 seed.

The loser of the Miami-Philadelphia game will play host to either Atlanta or Chicago on Friday to determine the No. 8 seed and who'll face No. 1 seed Boston in Round 1.

Gary Trent Jr. scored 18 points for Toronto. Jordan Nwora and Gradey Dick each scored 14, Kelly Olynyk scored 11 and Ochai Agbaji added 10


CLEVELAND (AP) - Nick Smith Jr. scored a season-high 24 points and Steve Clifford won his coaching farewell as Charlotte rallied to beat playoff-bound Cleveland.

Max Strus had 14 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists for his first career triple-double for Cleveland, which rested All-Star shooting guard Donovan Mitchell, point guard Darius Garland and sixth man Caris LeVert.

The Cavaliers will have home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs, but left the floor without knowing their opponent. They lost 12 of their final 19 regular-season games to finish 48-34.

Georges Niang scored 16 points, Jarrett Allen posted 14 points and seven rebounds, and Evan Mobley had 14 points for Cleveland. Niang became the first Cavaliers player to appear in all 82 games since LeBron James in 2017-2018.

76ERS 107, NETS 86

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - After eight straight wins to end the regular season, Philadelphia is set for their first play-in tournament after a win over Brooklyn.

The Sixers won their eighth straight game and appeared to fall just shy of earning the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference, meaning they are set to host the Miami Heat in the play-in tournament Wednesday in Philadelphia.

The 76ers expect to have Embiid, the two-time NBA scoring champion, in the lineup for the postseason.

Even with seeding that could have reached as high as fifth in the Eastern Conference at stake, the Sixers rested Embiid as a precaution, the team said. Embiid tweaked his surgically repaired left knee in a game on Friday, the latest injury setback in a career riddled with them.


ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Paolo Banchero had 26 points and 11 rebounds, Jonathan Isaac had 10 points, eight rebounds and three blocks in his second start of the season and Orlando avoided a play-in spot with a win over Milwaukee, which left them in fifth place in the Eastern Conference.

Khris Middleton and Bobby Portis scored 17 points each for the Bucks. Damian Lillard scored 16 points on 2 for 14 shooting for Milwaukee, whose playoff position was pending results of other season finales.

Isaac started at center in place of Wendell Carter Jr., who had back spams but played 14 minutes off the bench. Isaac played 26 minutes, one short of his season high.

The Bucks played again without Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has a lower leg strain that's left his availability for the playoffs in question.


LOS ANGELES (AP) - Cam Whitmore scored 21 points and Houston beat playoff-bound Los Angeles to salvage a .500 season.

Amen Thompson had a triple-double of 18 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high 10 assists for the already eliminated Rockets, who finished 41-41 after losing six of their last nine games.

The Pacific Division champion and fourth-seeded Clippers are headed to the playoffs, where they'll meet Luka Donic and the Dallas Mavericks in the first round next weekend.

Terance Mann scored 24 points and Amir Coffey added 18 for the Clippers in their last regular-season game at Crypto.com Arena. It's where they've juggled dates with the Lakers and NHL's Kings since 1999. The team is moving to its new Intuit Dome in Inglewood next season.


SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Sandro Mamukelashvili had 18 points and San Antonio routed Detroit to close disappointing seasons for both franchises.

Blake Wesley added 17 points for San Antonio. Zach Collins had 17 points and nine rebounds before injuring his shoulder early in the second half.

San Antonio was without Victor Wembanyama, the No. 1 pick in the draft and expected Rookie of the Year. Detroit was without Cade Cunningham, the top pick in 2021.

The Pistons (14-68) finished with the worst record in franchise history. The previous worst was 16-66 in 1980.


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 15 points in one half of action, and Oklahoma City rolled past Dallas to clinch the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.

Oklahoma City finished with the same 57-25 record as the Denver Nuggets but own the tiebreaker. The Thunder hadn't finished as the top seed since the 2012-13 season.

Aaron Wiggins scored 14 points and Chet Holmgren had 13 points and nine rebounds for the Thunder, who won their fifth straight to close the regular season.

The Thunder entered the day in a three-way tie with the Nuggets and Timberwolves for the best record in the Western Conference. It was the first time in NBA history that three teams entered the final day of the season tied for a conference lead.

The Thunder will have to wait for the Play-In Tournament's conclusion to learn their first-round opponent.


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Klay Thompson scored 25 points with six 3-pointers, Andrew Wiggins added 19 points, and Golden State beat Utah in the regular-season finale and wound up with the 10th spot in the Western Conference.

With the Lakers winning at New Orleans and the Kings beating Portland at home, Golden State will head to Sacramento on Tuesday as the No. 10 seed to face the ninth-seeded Kings in the Play-In Tournament. The Warriors won a thrilling first-round playoff series against their Northern California rival in Game 7 last year.

Golden State only could have moved up as high as eighth if it won and both the Kings and Lakers lost.

Steve Kerr rested Draymond Green and Stephen Curry, whose 74 regular-season games and 2,421 total minutes are both the two-time MVP's most since 2016-17. The Warriors are 1-3 this season in games missing both Green and Curry.


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Bradley Beal scored 36 points on 6-for-6 shooting from 3-point range and Phoenix beat Minnesota to stay out of the play-in tournament and set up a rematch in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

Devin Booker added 23 points and Grayson Allen had 20 points for the Suns (49-33). They built a 22-point lead by the end of the first quarter and never let the deficit drop into single digits after that.

Phoenix finished the regular season on a 10-4 surge and seized the No. 6 seed when New Orleans lost. After entering the final day in a three-way tie for the Western Conference lead with Denver and Oklahoma City, Minnesota took the No. 3 seed when the Nuggets and Thunder each won.

The Wolves will host Game 1 of the best-of-seven series next weekend. After losing all three games to the Suns this season, they've got a lot of work to do next week.


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - De'Aaron Fox scored 24 points and Sacramento assured themselves of at least one more home game by beating Portland in the teams' regular-season finale.

Sacramento will head into the play-in tournament on Tuesday night, hosting Golden State in the ninth versus 10th-place game in the Western Conference. The New Orleans Pelicans will face the Los Angeles Lakers in the No. 7 versus No. 8 matchup.

After snapping an NBA-record long 16-year playoff drought last season, the Kings were in good position to finish in the top six and return to the postseason this year before losing five of six games headed into the season finale. Now they must get in through the play-in tournament without key injured players Malik Monk and Kevin Huerter.

They cruised in the finale against a short-handed Blazers team playing out the string on a lost season. The Kings opened a 20-point lead in the second quarter and never were threatened.


MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Jamal Murray scored 21 points, Nikola Jokic had 15 points and 15 rebounds, and defending champion Denver secured the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference with a victory over Memphis.

The Nuggets (57-25) matched a franchise high for wins and finished with the same record as Oklahoma City, but the Thunder took the top spot in the West because of a head-to-head tiebreaker. Minnesota's loss to Phoenix dropped the Timberwolves into third, one game behind Denver.

Denver entered the game in a three-way tie with Minnesota and Oklahoma City. It was the first time such a logjam had existed on the final day of the season with three teams having a chance at the No. 1 seed. The Thunder locked up the top spot by routing Dallas.

Christian Braun scored 19 points for the Nuggets and Aaron Gordon added 15.


NEW ORLEANS (AP) - LeBron James had 28 points, 17 assists, 11 rebounds and five steals, and Los Angeles claimed the eighth seed in the Western Conference with a victory over New Orleans that dropped the Pelicans out of a coveted top-six seeding.

Anthony Davis had 30 points and 11 rebounds against the team that made him the first overall NBA draft choice in 2012 to help set up a rematch on Tuesday night in the same arena in the conference play-in. But Davis asked out of the game in the final minutes and walked gingerly back to the locker room.

James' triple-double was his fifth this season and his playmaking helped spearhead a dominant performance in the paint, where Los Angeles outscored New Orleans 68-42.

Austin Reaves scored 20 points and D'Angelo Russell scored 19 for the Lakers, who won eight of their final 11 regular-season games.

Article Copyright © 2024 The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved.
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