MIAMI (AP) — Paul George scored 27 points, Russell Westbrook got his 25th triple-double of the season and the Oklahoma City Thunder clinched a playoff spot with a 115-93 win over the Miami Heat on Monday night.
Westbrook finished with 23 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists for the Thunder, who were down 18 in the opening minutes before outscoring the Heat 39-12 in the fourth.
The 27-point margin was the third-worst for any quarter in Heat history, and the worst ever in a game at Miami.
NEW YORK (AP) — LeBron James had 26 points and 11 assists, Kevin Love scored 28 points, and the Cavaliers got their 50th win and another Central Division title by beating the Knicks.
The Cavaliers pulled within a half-game of Philadelphia for the No. 3 spot in the Eastern Conference, bouncing back from their loss to the 76ers on Friday and winning for the sixth time in seven games.
They reached 50 wins for the fourth time in four seasons since James returned from Miami and the 11th time in franchise history.
DETROIT (AP) — Jonas Valanciunas scored 25 points, and the Raptors scored the first 13 points of the fourth quarter before holding on for a victory over the Pistons.
Detroit was without injured stars Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin for its home finale, but the Pistons still led by 17 in the first half. The margin was only three, however, at halftime, and Detroit managed only 38 points over the final two quarters.
NETS 114, BULLS 105
NEW YORK (AP) — Allen Crabbe scored 20 of his career-high 41 points in the first quarter and the Nets beat the Bulls for their first three-game winning streak this season.
D’Angelo Russell had 21 points and 11 assists, and Spencer Dinwiddie scored 20 points for the Nets, who had not won three straight since April 1-4, 2017.
Former Net Sean Kilpatrick was one of seven players for the Bulls to score in double figures, tallying 16 points. Cameron Payne had 15 for Chicago, which has lost its last three games.
TIMBERWOLVES 113, GRIZZLIES 94
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Karl-Anthony Towns slammed his way to 24 points and grabbed 18 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who toughed out a victory over the Grizzlies to move one step closer to a long-sought spot in the playoffs.
Jeff Teague added 24 points and Jimmy Butler scored 15 points for the Timberwolves, who trailed by 10 points early before taking over against a depleted Grizzlies team that beat them 101-93 exactly two weeks ago in one of their worst losses of the season. Towns had five dunks to help ignite the crowd.
Ben McLemore had 18 points for the Grizzlies, who moved one loss closer to a prime lottery pick.
BUCKS 102, MAGIC 86
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Shabazz Muhammad scored a season-high 22 points and helped spark a key third-quarter run, Eric Bledsoe had a triple-double and the Bucks beat the Magic.
The Bucks leapfrogged Miami for sixth in the Eastern Conference. The Heat lost to Oklahoma City on Monday.
Milwaukee won its second straight game without Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is resting a sore right ankle. Both victories came against 50-loss teams.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Anthony Davis scored 28 points, Nikola Mirotic had a double-double and the Pelicans beat the Clippers to clinch their first playoff berth in three years.
Mirotic had 24 points and 16 rebounds in the Pelicans’ fourth straight victory. It will be just their second playoff appearance in seven years and they made it without big man DeMarcus Cousins, who sustained a season-ending Achilles injury on Jan. 28.
TRAIL BLAZERS 82
DENVER (AP) — Nikola Jokic posted his 10th triple-double of the season and the Nuggets kept their playoff hopes alive by rallying past the Trail Blazers.
The Nuggets have won a season-high six straight games and a seventh, on Wednesday night in Minnesota, would clinch their first playoff berth since 2012-13.
Jokic scored 15 points and pulled down a season-best 20 rebounds and had 11 assists. Will Barton added 22 points, leading a comeback from an 11-point third-quarter deficit.