(The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Wednesday’s National Basketball Association games:
Bulls 112, Nets 73
Jimmy Butler scored a team-high 25 points as the Chicago Bulls clinched a berth in the Eastern Conference playoffs with a 112-73 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday.
Rookie forward Paul Zipser added a career-high 21 points off the bench as the Bulls (41-41) earned the number eight seed. They will meet top seeded Boston.
Archie Goodwin scored 20 points to lead the Nets, who benched a half-dozen players in their final game. Brooklyn (20-62) finished with the worst record in the NBA and the fourth-most losses in franchise history.
Pacers 104, Hawks 86
Paul George tallied 32 points and 11 rebounds, and Jeff Teague added 19 points and seven assists before rolling his left ankle late in the fourth quarter, leading Indiana to a playoff-clinching victory over Atlanta.
The Pacers earned the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference and will open against the second-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers. Teague went directly to the locker room after being injured with 2:06 to play.
Having clinched the number five spot in the East on Tuesday, Atlanta rested Kent Bazemore, Tim Hardaway Jr, Dwight Howard, Paul Millsap and Dennis Schroder. The Hawks will begin the playoffs against the fourth-seeded Washington Wizards.
Jazz 101, Spurs 97
Gordon Hayward scored 14 points and Rudy Gobert, George Hill and Shelvin Mack added 13 apiece to help Utah extend its home winning streak to a season-best nine games with a victory over San Antonio.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 18 points and Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker added 14 apiece to lead the Spurs, who have lost four straight as they prepare to open the playoffs against the Memphis Grizzlies.
The fifth-seeded Jazz will oppose the fourth-seeded Los Angeles Clippers in a first-round Western Conference playoff series.
Heat 110, Wizards 102
Goran Dragic scored 28 points but Miami fell short of reaching the playoffs despite a win over Washington.
The Heat became the first team in league history to finish .500 or above after being at least 12 games below parity. Miami reversed an 11-30 record the first half of the season with a 30-11 finish.
Trey Burke scored 27 points for the playoff-bound Wizards, who played without John Wall and Bradley Beal. Otto Porter Jr, who was inactive in Washington’s previous two games, scored 11 points in 15 minutes.
Celtics 112, Bucks 94
Gerald Green scored 18 points and Boston emerged with the top seed for the Eastern Conference playoffs after beating Milwaukee.
Jae Crowder and Amir Johnson each had 16 points, Isaiah Thomas finished with 13 points and eight assists, and Al Horford added 12 points for the Celtics.
Spencer Hawes and Michael Beasley each had 15 points for the Bucks, who also rested most their starters after securing the sixth seed in the East on Tuesday.
Raptors 98, Cavaliers 83
Norman Powell led all scorers with 25 points as Toronto pounded Cleveland.
Cleveland was without LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. Iman Shumpert was the Cavs’ leading scorer with 11 points.
The Cavaliers will be the second seed entering the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Raptors are the third seed.
Magic 113, Pistons 109
Aaron Gordon had 32 points and 12 rebounds in leading Orlando over Detroit.
Elfrid Payton scored 21 points, including six in the final 1:10 to ice the victory. The Pistons trailed throughout the night and never led by more than two points.
Knicks 114, 76ers 113
Maurice Ndour’s step-back jumper with 18.3 seconds remaining lifted New York over Philadelphia.
The Knicks trailed by nine entering the fourth quarter and tied the score three times before Ndour’s game-winner. Carmelo Anthony, who may have played his final game with New York, scored 17 points.
Mavericks 100, Grizzlies 93
Dallas snapped a five-game losing streak with a season-ending win over Memphis.
Nicolas Brussino scored 15 points and Devin Harris had 15 points and eight assists off the bench for the Mavericks.
The Grizzlies will be the seventh seed in the Western Conference playoffs, where they will meet the second-seeded San Antonio Spurs in the first round.
Rockets 123, Timberwolves 118
James Harden recorded his 22nd triple-double and Houston tuned up for the post-season with a win over Minnesota.
Harden posted 27 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists to pace a balanced scoring attack for the Rockets (55-27), whose win total matched the fourth-most in team history.
Nuggets 111, Thunder 105
Nikola Jokic scored 29 points to lead Denver over Oklahoma City.
Jokic went 9-of-14 from the field and 11-of-14 from the free-throw line and had 16 rebounds and eight assists. Jamal Murray added 27 points for the Nuggets.
Clippers 115, Kings 95
It took until the final night of the season to make it official but Los Angeles secured home-court advantage for the first round of the playoffs with a win over Sacramento.
DeAndre Jordan tallied 18 points and 17 rebounds. J.J. Redick added 18 points, and Chris Paul 17 for the Clippers, who will host the Utah Jazz in the opening round.
Warriors 109, Lakers 94
Kevin Durant stamped himself ready for the post-season with 29 points in 27 minutes, lifting Golden State over Los Angeles.
Stephen Curry added 20 points for the Warriors, who will begin the playoffs with home-court advantage in any matchup based on their best-in-basketball 67-15 regular-season record.
Pelicans 103, Trail Blazers 100
New Orleans erased a nine-point deficit in the final eight minutes to beat Portland.
Jordan Crawford came off the bench for 15 points and Cheick Diallo contributed 12 points and 16 rebounds for the Pelicans, who ended a five-game losing streak.