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Apr 1, 2024 12:44 am

NBA roundup: Thunder edge Knicks, clinch playoff berth

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander drained a go-ahead fallaway jumper with 2.6 seconds left and then helped produce a defensive stop just before the buzzer on Sunday night for the Oklahoma City Thunder, who clinched a playoff spot with a 113-112 victory over the host New York Knicks.

It marks Oklahoma City’s first playoff berth since 2020, when the Thunder fell to the Houston Rockets in the first round.

After a Thunder timeout, Josh Giddey sent an inbounds pass to Gilgeous-Alexander, who dribbled once to shake Miles McBride before turning and sinking a shot from deep in the left corner.

After a Knicks timeout, Donte DiVincenzo got the ball to Jalen Brunson, who was covered by Gilgeous-Alexander. Brunson’s turnaround jumper bounced off the top of the rim as time expired.

Giddey (16 points, 13 rebounds, 12 assists) had a triple-double while Jalen Williams scored a game-high 33 points for Oklahoma City, which won for the sixth time in eight games. Brunson scored 30 points to pace New York.

Mavericks 125, Rockets 107

Luka Doncic matched his career high with nine 3-pointers and finished with 47 points as visiting Dallas extended its winning streak to seven games, beating Houston.

Doncic added 12 rebounds and seven assists for the Mavericks, who led by as many as 29 and snapped the Rockets’ 11-game winning streak. Kyrie Irving scored 24 points, Dante Exum added 13 and P.J. Washington had 12 for Dallas.

Jabari Smith Jr. matched his career high with five 3-pointers and led Houston with 28 points. The loss was just the second in 15 games in March for the Rockets.

Nuggets 130, Cavaliers 101

Nikola Jokic had 26 points, 18 rebounds and 16 assists, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored a season-high 22 points, and host Denver beat Cleveland.

Reggie Jackson and Michael Porter Jr. scored 19 points each and Christian Braun had 10 for the Nuggets, who snapped a two-game home losing streak.

Evan Mobley led the Cavaliers with 23 points, Jarrett Allen had 19, Caris LeVert finished with 15 points and Donovan Mitchell added 13 in his second game back after missing six in a row with a broken nose.

Warriors 117, Spurs 113

Stephen Curry tallied 33 points and eight assists and Draymond Green added 21 points, 11 assists, six rebounds and six steals as visiting Golden State defeated short-handed San Antonio in a late-season Western Conference clash.

Klay Thompson hit for 13 points while Brandin Podziemski and Moses Moody had 12 and 10 points, respectively. The Warriors played without Jonathan Kuminga (knee tendinitis) for the third straight game.

Victor Wembanyama racked up 32 points and nine rebounds for the Spurs. Cedi Osman hit for 18 points, Zach Collins had 13, Malaki Branham and Tre Jones scored 12 points apiece and Sandro Mamukelashvili added 10 points and 11 rebounds.

76ers 135, Raptors 120

Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 32 points as visiting Philadelphia hit a team-record 24 3-pointers and defeated Toronto.

Former Raptors stalwart Kyle Lowry had 11 points and 10 assists for the 76ers, who had lost their three previous games and five of six. Cameron Payne added 24 points, Tobias Harris had 21, Nicolas Batum scored 19 and Buddy Hield chipped in 13.

The Raptors have lost 13 in a row and were swept in the four-game season series. Gary Trent Jr. scored 23 points for the Raptors. Jordan Nwora added 19 points, Bruce Brown and Kelly Olynyk each scored 18, Gradey Dick added 12 and Javon Freeman-Liberty had 11.

Clippers 130, Hornets 118

Paul George heated up from the perimeter for eight 3-pointers on his way to a season-high 41 points and Los Angeles won another road game, beating Charlotte.

Ivica Zubac racked up 24 points and 12 rebounds and Kawhi Leonard had 23 points to boost the Clippers, who have their first three-game winning streak since winning four in a row from Jan. 31-Feb. 5.

Miles Bridges poured in 33 points and Brandon Miller tallied 22 points for the Hornets. Charlotte shot 50 percent from the floor, but the offensive execution from the Clippers, who led by as many as 19 points, didn’t allow the Hornets to catch up for long stretches.

Lakers 116, Nets 104

LeBron James tied a season high with 40 points and matched a career high by hitting nine 3-pointers as Los Angeles raced out to a big lead and never trailed in a victory over Brooklyn in New York.

James notched his third 40-point game of the season by shooting 13-for-17 from the floor. He went 9-for-10 from 3-point range.

Cam Thomas tried to keep pace with James by scoring 30 points, but the Nets saw their three-game winning streak come to an end. Trendon Watford added 15 points and Dennis Schroder finished with 14 as the Nets shot 42.4 percent overall and 33.3 percent (12-for-36) from beyond the arc after sinking 25 threes on Friday against the Chicago Bulls.

Heat 119, Wizards 107

Terry Rozier scored 20 of his game-high 27 points in the first half, Bam Adebayo added 22 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, and visiting Miami handed Washington its third straight loss.

Jimmy Butler added 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists for the Heat, who trail Indiana by a half-game for sixth place and the last guaranteed playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. Nikola Jovic added 12 points and eight rebounds for Miami, and Haywood Highsmith scored 10 points off the bench.

Jordan Poole led six Wizards scorers in double figures with 22 points. Anthony Gill scored 18 points off the bench, and Deni Avdija went for 15 points, nine rebounds and six assists.

Bulls 109, Wolves 101

DeMar DeRozan scored 27 points and dished out eight assists and Chicago held off Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Alex Caruso added 21 points on 7-for-8 shooting from 3-point range for the Bulls. Nikola Vucevic finished with 19 points, eight rebounds and six assists.

Anthony Edwards scored 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the Timberwolves. Rudy Gobert also registered a double-double with 19 points and 10 boards.

Kings 127, Jazz 106

Harrison Barnes and Keegan Murray combined for 49 points, DeAaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis registered double-doubles and Sacramento broke a third-quarter tie with a 15-0 flurry to beat visiting Utah.

Murray finished with a game-high 25 points and Barnes had 24 points for the Kings, who were playing for the first time since learning that Malik Monk would be lost for the rest of the regular season with a sprained right MCL.

Brice Sensabaugh had a season-high 22 points and Collin Sexton also totaled 22 for the Jazz, who lost their ninth straight.

–Field Level Media

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