The Utah Jazz became the latest team to clinch a playoff spot in the NBA Western Conference with a 112-97 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, while the Philadelphia 76ers reached the 50-win mark.
Utah secured a postseason berth thanks to Rookie of the Year candidate Donovan Mitchell – a feat hard to imagine when the Jazz held a 19-28 record in January.
Mitchell scored 28 points with nine rebounds and eight assists on Sunday, while Joe Ingles had 22 points and 10 assists as the Jazz moved to 47-33 for the season, good for fourth in the west with two games to play.
The New Orleans Pelicans, San Antonio Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder are all a game back of the Jazz with the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Denver Nuggets two adrift.
If the season ended on Sunday, Minnesota would make the playoffs due to tie-breakers over Denver. The two teams square off on Wednesday in what will likely be a win-and-your-in scenario.
The 76ers, meanwhile, extended their winning streak to a franchise-record 14 games following a 109-97 victory against the Dallas Mavericks.
With the victory, the 76ers clinched home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs as they secured their first 50-win season since 2000-01.
PRINCE HELPS HAWKS SOAR
The Atlanta Hawks upset the Boston Celtics 112-106 behind 33 points, eight rebounds and five assists from Taurean Prince. Atlanta outscored Boston 36-24 in the final quarter for the win.
The playoff-bound Indiana Pacers easily handled the Charlotte Hornets 123-117 despite a late rally from the hosts. Domantas Sabonis led the way for Indiana with 30 points, eight rebounds and three assists.
VAN GUNDY SLAMS POOR PISTONS
Recently eliminated from playoff contention, the Detroit Pistons looked lethargic throughout Sunday's 130-117 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy did not mince words follow the 13-point loss.
"Our defense was horrendous," he told reporters after the game. "I mean [the Grizzlies] are the next to the worst offensive team in the league, and they scored over 30 (points) in every quarter. ... Our effort was bad, our concentration was bad. We were terrible defensively."
THOMPSON LEADS WARRIORS
Klay Thompson dropped 22 points in the first nine minutes of the Golden State Warriors' 117-100 win over the Phoenix Suns.
Indiana Pacers 123-117 Charlotte Hornets
Atlanta Hawks 112-106 Boston Celtics
Memphis Grizzlies 130-117 Detroit Pistons
Philadelphia 76ers 109-97 Dallas Mavericks
Toronto Raptors 112-101 Orlando Magic
Utah Jazz 112-97 Los Angeles Lakers
Golden State Warriors 117-100 Phoenix Suns
TRAIL BLAZERS AT NUGGETS
The Portland Trail Blazers are trying to hold onto the third seed in the west, while the Denver Nuggets are hoping to sneak their way into the postseason. Damian Lillard is back from a small ankle injury but Denver will be likely be without second-leading scorer Gary Harris (knee).
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