Post Up: Raptors Inch Closer To Securing Top Seed In East

by April 05, 2018

Raptors 96 (56-22), Celtics 78 (53-25)

The Raptors moved one giant step closer to locking up the 1 seed in the East with a win over the Celtics at home. Toronto now leads Boston by three games with four to play and has matched a franchise record with 56 wins on the season. Neither team shot particularly well, but the Raptors were able to shut down the Celtics — Boston shot 33 percent overall, 14 percent from three, and committed 16 turnovers. DeMar DeRozan scored 16 points to lead the Raptors and Marcus Morris had 21 for the Celtics.

76ers 115 (48-30), Pistons 108 (37-41)

The 76ers won their 12th consecutive game and in doing so officially knocked the Pistons out of the playoff race. JJ Redick hit five of his seven three-point attempts and shot 10-13 overall en route to 25 points to lead the Sixers. Marco Belinelli added 19 off the bench and Philly continued to roll without Joel Embiid. The Pistons, who trailed most of the night, tried to claw their way back into it in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Sixers 37-27, but could not close the deficit. Anthony Tolliver led Detroit with 25 points. With Detroit’s loss, the Bucks became the final team into the playoffs out of the East.

Magic 105 (24-54), Mavericks 100 (24-55)

With both teams long out of the playoff race, the focus turned to the younger players. Though Aaron Gordon had 20 to lead the way for Orlando, Khem Birch, Jamel Artis, and Rodney Purvis combined for 35 points and all played more than 20 minutes. Jalen Jones had 16 points and seven rebounds to lead the Mavericks.

Heat 115 (43-36), Hawks 86 (22-57)

The Heat dominated the second quarter and never relinquished the lead as they blew out the Hawks in Atlanta. Josh Richardson scored 19 points and Kelly Olynyk hit five threes to score 19 of his own (he also earned a $1 million bonus by playing his 1,700th minute of the season). Taurean Prince had 20 to lead the Hawks, who committed 15 turnovers and shot only 37 percent for the game.

Pelicans 123 (44-34), Grizzlies 95 (21-57)

The Pelicans continued to cling to their playoff spot behind 30 points from E’Twaun Moore on 7-10 three-point shooting and 28 points and 12 rebounds from Anthony Davis. New Orleans remains a game ahead of Denver with four remaining for the Western Conference’s 8 seed. MarShon Brooks had 25 for the Grizzlies and went 5-10 from three.

Lakers 122 (34-44), Spurs 112 (45-34) (OT)

The Spurs lost their seventh straight road game, this one coming in overtime and possibly imperiling their playoff positioning. San Antonio still holds the 5 seed in the West, but is only a game and a half out of the 9 spot with three games to go. Kyle Kuzma led all scorers with 30 points. He also went 5-9 from three and the Lakers shot 54 percent from deep as a team. LaMarcus Aldridge had 28 points and eight rebounds for the Spurs.