NBA

About Final Night time: How Friday impacted playoff image

“I’m checking (the playoff seeding) after each sport,” mentioned Blazers guard Damian Lillard, following Friday’s street victory over the Hawks. “I’m it every single day. If it’s a day we don’t play, I’m who received and who misplaced. All that. I am watching every part.”

So are we, Damian.

Every evening brings new developments to the playoff image. Extra modifications have been sure to occur on a six-game slate that includes no less than one playoff contender in all of them.

So, let us take a look at who received and who misplaced. All that. After which some. 

Timberwolves 131, Warriors 130 OT
Essentially the most eventful sport — and end; extra on that beneath — of the evening got here in Minnesota, the place the Timberwolves held on in extra time to shock Golden State. At 51-24, the Warriors are once more tied with Denver for first place within the Western Convention. (The Warriors do maintain the tiebreaker, because of their 2-1 head-to-head file.)

Celtics 114, Pacers 112
No workforce has clinched a particular seed, so no matchups have formally been locked. Nonetheless, you may just about assume that Indiana and Boston will face off within the first spherical of the Japanese Convention playoffs. Who will maintain dwelling courtroom is the query that looms, a bonus the Celtics now declare after Kyrie Irving’s game-winner moved them forward of the Pacers into fourth place. Each groups meet once more on April 5, when Indiana will try and even the season sequence.

Nuggets 115, Thunder 105
Oklahoma Metropolis sat simply two video games behind Denver for the No. 2 spot within the West on the All-Star break. On Friday, the Nuggets knocked off the Thunder and pushed their Northwest division foe right down to eighth place. It was one other potential playoff matchup, one Oklahoma Metropolis ought to hope to keep away from after being swept by Denver within the common season. The Nuggets once more moved right into a tie with the Warriors for first within the West, whereas concurrently denying the Thunder an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth.

Path Blazers 118, Atlanta 98
The Path Blazers at the moment are driving a league-best six-game profitable streak. It’s been two video games since they misplaced beginning heart Jusuf Nurkic to a grotesque leg damage. The Blazers have convincingly received each contests — oddly sufficient, by the identical 118-98 rating — however on condition that they’ve each come in opposition to lottery-bound groups, it is nonetheless unclear what life will likely be like within the postseason. On the very least, Portland moved a half sport forward of Houston for third within the West.

Jazz 128, Wizards 124
Donovan Mitchell dropped 35 factors to carry Utah to its ninth win within the final 10 video games. The Jazz nonetheless have an opportunity, albeit a slim one, at attaining dwelling courtroom within the Western Convention’s first spherical, sitting two video games behind the Rockets for fourth place with six video games remaining.

 

Wolves win after wild end

When the clock hit zero within the Timberwolves’ win over the Warriors, you possibly can already hear the cacophony of complaints that will emanate from the Golden State locker room.

The Warriors used phrases like “embarrassing” and “mind-boggling” to explain the officiating of their 131-130 loss, a sport that included two late calls that didn’t go of their favor.

With four.four seconds remaining and Golden State down 130-127, referee Marat Kogut blew his whistle as Kevin Durant drilled what gave the impression to be the game-tying Three-pointer. Kogut, nonetheless, dominated that Durant had been fouled earlier than starting his capturing movement. 

The Warriors tempered their frustration and inbounded the ball to Stephen Curry on the subsequent possession, when he sank the game-tying triple from the nook with lower than a second remaining.

Double extra time gave the impression to be within the works, however the extra additional interval by no means occurred as extra drama unfolded: Durant was referred to as for a foul after holding Cities on the following inbound go with simply zero.5 seconds left. Cities then hit the primary of two free throws to seal the victory.

Afterwards, Durant referred to as Kogut “the most effective participant on the ground tonight,” whereas Curry sarcastically dubbed Kogut “the MVP of tonight.”

It ought to be famous totally different official, Leon Wooden, whistled Durant for the foul on Cities. Durant’s evaluation of the decision: “Leon, you simply gotta get out the way in which at that time.”

Durant and Curry would possibly quickly be getting out their checkbooks.

 

Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry go over their frustrations in regards to the officers.

 

Lillard vs. Younger

Lillard poured in 36 factors and 7 assists in a matchup between two of the most popular offenses because the All-Star break.

Portland ranked first in offensive effectivity and Atlanta led the league in factors per sport coming into Friday’s contest. A considerable quantity of that success is because of the play of every workforce’s level guard. Lillard’s counterpart, Kia Rookie of the Yr candidate Trae Younger, continued his blazing kind with 26 factors, 9 rebounds and 7 assists within the loss.

The 2 playmakers staged an intriguing duel in State Farm Area. Each of them scored 18 factors within the first half — numbers that encapsulate how comparable their stats have seemed because the All-Star break.


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