Welcome to the final weekend of the NBA’s regular season, with every first-round playoff matchup still undecided.Lakers need two wins »
Kelly Olynyk scored 20 points and fell a rebound shy of a triple-double as the Houston Rockets snapped a seven-game skid with a 122-115 victory over a Los Angeles Clippers team that rested several starters Friday night. Olynyk had 11 assists and nine rebounds to help the Rockets win for the first time since April 29. “Every one of them coming together to have a victory is really good stuff," coach Stephen Silas said.
Bojan Bogdanovic scored 22 points, and the Utah Jazz beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 109-93 on Friday night to inch closer to claiming the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs. The Jazz have the league’s best record and a 1 1/2-game lead on idle Phoenix in the race for the top seed in the West. Utah can clinch the top seed with a win at Sacramento on Sunday or a loss by Phoenix against San Antonio on Saturday or Sunday.
Joel Embiid and the 76ers are happy to have earned home-court advantage for the playoffs — but they are a long way from their goal. Seth Curry scored 20 points, Embiid had 13 points and 11 rebounds and Philadelphia clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference with a 122-97 victory over the Orlando Magic on Friday night. Ben Simmons added 13 points and nine assists to help the 76ers improve to 48-23.
Markus Howard scored a career-high 20 points, Nikola Jokic had a triple-double and the Denver Nuggets moved closer to a higher playoff seed with a 104-91 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night. Jokic had 20 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists for Denver (47-24). The Nuggets improved to 3-0 on a four-game road trip that finishes the regular season.
Russell Westbrook got his first triple-double since passing Oscar Robertson and becoming the NBA’s career leader earlier in the week, lifting Washington past the Cleveland Cavaliers 120-105 on Friday night and helping the Wizards clinch a spot in the play-in tournament. Westbrook had 21 points, 17 assists and 12 rebounds for his 183rd career triple-double and league-leading 37th this season.
Mike Breen remembers the way he was taught the game of basketball, and quickly learned that it is best when the five players on the floor work as one. Breen — the longtime voice of the New York Knicks as well as the NBA on ESPN and ABC — was one of the honorees Friday night by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, one of the Curt Gowdy Media Award winners that pay tribute to the game's best storytellers in various mediums. “That team aspect has been the story of my life," Breen said.
Vanessa Bryant helped design an exhibit dedicated to Kobe that will run at the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Philadelphia 76ers center Dwight Howard was suspended one game without pay by the NBA on Friday for picking up his 16th technical foul of the season. The league said he will serve the suspension Friday night when the 76ers play the first of two homes against the Orlando Magic to close the regular season. If Philadelphia wins one of those games, it will be the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference for the first time since 2001.
Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden are all expected to play Saturday when the Nets host the Chicago Bulls. The three All-Stars have played in the same game just seven times since the Nets acquired Harden from Houston in mid-January. Durant then missed the next 23 games with a left hamstring injury.
Retired Major League Baseball star Alex Rodriguez and businessman Marc Lore have reached a deal to buy the NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves, the team announced Friday.
Each week during the 2020-21 NBA season, we will take a deeper dive into three of the league’s biggest storylines in an attempt to determine whether the trends are based more in fact or fiction moving forward.
Booker received the inbounds pass, was fouled and made two free throws with 2.4 seconds left to give the Phoenix Suns a 118-117 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. Booker scored 18 points on just 5-of-17 shooting, but coach Monty Williams put the game in his hands after Portland's Robert Covington missed two free throws with 4.4 seconds left and the Trail Blazers up by one.
The New York Knicks want to start their postseason in Madison Square Garden. “We definitely want that fourth seed,” RJ Barrett said. The San Antonio Spurs just want to get in, and they'll have a chance.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had so many powerful dunks on Thursday night, he tried to be mindful about not expending energy in celebrating too much. At the end of a demanding NBA regular season, the two-time MVP concedes there's fatigue, even after he dominated with 40 points, 15 rebounds and six assists to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 142-133 victory over the Indiana Pacers. “I just feel so much adrenaline, and I've got to let it out,” Antetokounmpo said about his array of dunks.
Paul George had 20 points and 10 rebounds, Reggie Jackson added 19 points off the bench on five 3-pointers and the Los Angeles Clippers handed the slumping Charlotte Hornets their fourth loss in the last five games, 113-90 on Thursday night. Kawhi Leonard had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Clippers, who are jockeying for playoff position in the Western Conference. The Clippers (47-23) remain in third place, one game ahead of the Denver Nuggets with two games remaining.
Udonis Haslem finally played, and made an immediate impact for the Miami Heat. Haslem can finally say that he has played in 18 NBA seasons — and it was a memorable, albeit brief, appearance. “If this is the last one, I finished it the only way Udonis Haslem could — with an ejection," Haslem said.
Emerging from a challenging East Oakland youth when he cheered for the Golden State Warriors from a cramped house, Juan Toscano-Anderson now has that coveted contract from his hometown team. The Warriors signed the former two-way forward to a multiyear deal Thursday, also bringing back forward Jordan Bell for the remainder of the season. Toscano-Anderson has long been determined to prove he's in the NBA for the long haul, talented enough to stay put.
With the NBA regular season wrapping up, let's see what the first round of 2021-22 fantasy basketball drafts could look like.