NBA: East Playoff Picture Still in Flux
It was an action-packed 13-game Friday night in the NBA as the regular season slowly winds down. After the Bucks- 76ers Thursday thriller, there was more excitement in the East with the Hornets and Raptors. Meanwhile, the bottom of the conference's playoff picture continues to take shape.
And in the West, the Jazz and Warriors continued on their winning ways, while the Lakers defied the NBA 2019 betting odds and pulled off the biggest upset of the night.
Toronto Raptors 111-113 Charlotte Hornets
For the second time in two meetings, a clutch Jeremy Lamb 3-pointer led the Charlotte Hornets to a big win over the Toronto Raptors.
Lamb's most recent game-winning 3 wasn't quite as spectacular as his buzzer-beating half-court heave to win the previous meeting, which was unquestionably one of the top NBA 2019 highlights. But it still delivered the W.
Thanks to that win, the Hornets' faint playoff chances are still alive. They remain two games back of the Nets and Pistons with just three games left.
Atlanta Hawks 113-149 Orlando Magic
Speaking of playoffs, the Magic have climbed up to sixth in the East after a dominant win over the Hawks, who have been putting up some fine performances to end the season.
The Magic set a new franchise record with 81 first-half points, and their 149 points were the third-most in franchise history.
Nikola Vucevic, Evan Fournier, and Terrence Ross all had 25 points as the Magic shot a sizzling 61 per cent from the field as a team.
San Antonio Spurs 129-112 Washington Wizards
The Spurs still have a shot at moving out of the No. 8 seed in the West as they thumped the Wizards in Washington DC. LaMarcus Aldridge paced eight Spurs in double-digits with 24 points in just 28 minutes.
The Spurs are still a half-game back of the Thunder for the eighth seed, which would mean a date with the defending champion Golden State Warriors in the first round of the playoffs.
Boston Celtics 117-97 Indiana Pacers
The Celtics have all but secured home-court advantage for the first round after beating their likely first-round opponents -- the Pacers -- for the second time in just over a week. And based on this most recent win, SBOBET odds will likely favour the Celtics to come out of that series.
Gordon Hayward attempts a shot over Indiana Pacers' defenders
Jayson Tatum led the way with 22 points, while Gordon Hayward continued his impressive play of late with 21 points on a perfect 9-of-9 shooting from the field.
Hayward is averaging 13.4 points while shooting 52 per cent from the field over his last seven games, which is a promising sign ahead of the postseason.
New York Knicks 96-120 Houston Rockets
The Rockets extended their current winning streak to five games with a routine win over the league-worst Knicks. James Harden had 26 points in just 29 minutes of work to lead the Rockets, who have won their last three games by an average of 27 points.
Those blowout wins have given Harden a bit more rest ahead of the playoffs, which he could certainly use considering his incredible workload this season.
Miami Heat 109-111 Minnesota Timberwolves
The Heat's playoff chances took another big hit after falling to the Timberwolves. Dwyane Wade missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer as time expired for Miami, who have now dropped three straight games following back-to-back losses to Boston.
The Heat are one game back of the Nets and Pistons for the final playoff spot and will face the Raptors, 76ers, and Nets in their last three games.
Detroit Pistons 110-123 Oklahoma City Thunder
Blake Griffin returned from a recent three-game absence with a bang as he dropped 45 points on the Oklahoma City Thunder. However, it wasn't nearly enough to prevent the Pistons from dropping their third game in a row.
The Pistons remain tied with the seventh-seeded Nets at 39-40, with the Heat a game behind. Detroit end their regular season at home against the Hornets and Grizzlies, and on the road against the Knicks.
Russell Westbrook engages the crowd during their NBA game against the Detroit Pistons
Meanwhile, Russell Westbrook secured a third-straight triple-double season in the win.
Memphis Grizzlies 122-112 Dallas Mavericks
Delon Wright's career night helped snap the Grizzlies' two-game losing skid against the Mavericks. Wright set new career highs in points (26) and assists (14) and added 10 rebounds as he recorded his first-ever triple-double.
With Luka Doncic once again out due to a thigh injury, Courtney Lee led the Mavs with 21 points and seven assists, while Justin Jackson added 19 points.
Sacramento Kings 98-119 Utah Jazz
The Jazz are hitting all the right notes just ahead of the playoffs. Their win over the Kings was their seventh in a row, the longest active win streak in the league. Donovan Mitchell and rookie Grayson Allen had 23 points apiece to lead the Jazz.
Both starting point guards -- the Kings' De'Aaron Fox and the Jazz's Ricky Rubio -- had to go off after less than 10 minutes due to lower body injuries.
New Orleans Pelicans 126-133 (OT) Phoenix Suns
Despite the absence of Devin Booker, the Suns were able to pick up a rare win at the expense of the Pelicans. Josh Jackson starred with 35 points to lead the Booker-less Suns, while veteran Jamal Crawford chipped in with 28 points off the bench.
The Pelicans -- who have basically shut down Anthony Davis for the season due to "lower back spasm" -- are now just 2-12 in their last 14 games.
Portland Trail Blazers 110-119 Denver Nuggets
The Nuggets clinched their first division title in nearly a decade by beating the Blazers. Paul Millsap was wildly efficient as he finished with 25 points on just 12 shots. Meanwhile, star big man Nikola Jokic just missed a triple-double with 22 points, 13 rebounds, and 9 assists.
The Blazers -- who are still without CJ McCollum and have lost Jusuf Nurkic for the season -- better be careful; they're now just one game ahead of the streaking Jazz for the No. 4 seed with three games left.
Cleveland Cavaliers 114-120 Golden State Warriors
After being up by over 20 points, the Warriors allowed the Cavs to creep back into the game late in the fourth quarter. But the Dubs did just about enough to hang on for their fourth straight win and sixth in the last seven.
Stephen Curry had his shot cooking as he finished with 40 points on 9-of-12 shooting from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, Draymond Green added a season-high 20 points with DeMarcus Cousins out of the lineup.
Los Angeles Lakers 122-117 LA Clippers
The short-handed Lakers pulled quite a shock on their city rival Clippers as they got the "home" win. Alex Caruso was the improbable hero for the Lakers with a career-high 32 points. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 25 points, while JaVale McGee and Rajon Rondo both recorded double-doubles.
The Clippers, who have now lost back-to-back games, are now in danger of dropping out of the No. 6 seed. They are just a half-game ahead of the No. 7 Thunder and will face the Warriors and the Jazz in their final two games.
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This message was edited by SBOBET on 10-Apr-2019 at 1:38 PM