AROUND THE NBA | Recaps of Wednesday’s other games
Timberwolves 112, Nuggets 106
Jimmy Butler scored 31 points, Karl-Anthony Towns had 26 points and 14 rebounds and the Timberwolves ended the NBA’s longest-running playoff drought, beating the Nuggets in overtime in the first final-day play-in game in the league in 21 years. When the final horn blew, the capacity and white-towel-waving crowd at Target Center stood to soak in Minnesota’s first postseason appearance since 2004. Butler flashed a smile of relief as he hugged his teammates and confetti fluttered above the floor. The fans chanted “MVP! “MVP!” as Butler conducted a postgame interview. Jokic locked in a classic big man battled with Towns, finishing with 35 points and 10 rebounds, but he missed six of his last eight shots after the third quarter as Denver’s late push fell a few points short.
Thunder 137, Grizzlies 123
Russell Westbrook clinched a triple-double average for the second straight season, Paul George scored 40 points and Oklahoma beat Memphis. Westbrook entered the night needing 16 rebounds to clinch the triple-double average. He pulled down his 16th rebound with just over nine minutes left in the third quarter and received a standing ovation. He finished with just six points, but had a career-high 20 rebounds and 19 assists. Steven Adams scored 24 points. and Corey Brewer added 17 for the Thunder, who matched a franchise record with 20 made 3-pointers. Dillon Brooks scored a career-high 36 points for Memphis.
76ers 130, Bucks 95
Joel Embiid and JJ Redick watched from the bench, Ben Simmons had a scoreless first half and Philadelphia still won its 16th consecutive game to take the No. 3 Eastern Conference seed. Fultz had his first career triple-double with 13 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds. Justin Anderson led the Sixers with 25 points, and Dario Saric had 24.
Heat 116, Raptors 109, OT
Wayne Ellington scored a career-high 32 points and set Miami’s single-season record for 3-pointers, helping the Heat wrap up the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference. Ellington finished with eight 3-pointers, giving him 227 for the season. He topped the mark set by Damon Jones, who made 225 in 2004-05. Kelly Olynyk, Dwyane Wade, Justise Winslow, James Johnson and Tyler Johnson each scored 11 points for the Heat. Kyle Lowry scored 28 points for Toronto, which already had the top seed in the East wrapped up.
Pelicans 122, Spurs 98
Anthony Davis had 22 points, 15 rebounds, four blocks and three steals, and New Orleans assured itself no worse than the sixth seed in the Western Conference. Rajon Rondo had 19 points and 14 assists, Nikola Mirotic had 21 points and 15 rebounds, and Jrue Holiday added 19 points for the Pelicans. LaMarcus Aldridge, Tony Parker and Dejounte Murray each scored 11 points for San Antonio.
Magic 101, Wizards 92
Rodney Purvis scored 16 points for Orlando and Mario Hezonja finished with 15 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Jodie Meeks came off the bench to score 18 points for Washington. They lost five of their last six games to take the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot.
Celtics 110, Nets 97
Aron Baynes led a short-handed Boston lineup with a career-best 26 points and 14 rebounds, carrying the Celtics past Brooklyn. Jonathan Gibson scored 18 points, Guerschon Yabusele had 16 and Shane Larkin added 12 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds for the Celtics. Nik Stauskas scored 18 points for the Nets.
Pistons 119, Bulls 87
Rookie Luke Kennard scored a career-high 23 points and Eric Moreland set career bests with 16 points and 17 rebounds for Detroit. Anthony Tolliver had 18 points and Henry Ellenson added 14 points and 10 rebounds. Rookie Lauri Markkanen had 20 points for Chicago.