MIAMI (AP) — The Latest on Wednesday’s final slate of NBA regular-season games (all times local):
The NBA playoff bracket is complete.
Portland beat Utah to grab the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference, and that allowed the rest of the bracket to be filled in — finally. The Trail Blazers will play No. 6 New Orleans in the first round, and No. 4 Oklahoma City will have home-court advantage against the fifth-seeded Jazz.
The Jazz-Blazers game was the 1,230th and final regular-season matchup of the season. Every other game on Wednesday’s schedule was over before the final buzzer in Portland, meaning it took the entire schedule to determine the last two matchups in the West.
The first two of the four Western Conference first-round matchups have been set.
No. 1 Houston will play No. 8 Minnesota, and No. 2 Golden State (probably with no Stephen Curry) will play No. 7 San Antonio (probably with no Kawhi Leonard).
The Rockets swept four games from the Timberwolves, and the Warriors went 3-1 against the Spurs in the regular season.
The rest of the West bracket will be set based on the outcome of the Utah-Portland game. New Orleans will start on the road, regardless of the winner, and Oklahoma City — thanks to its wild 137-123 win over Memphis — could still get a top-four seed.
Minnesota is in the playoffs.
Jeff Teague’s jumper with just over a minute left in overtime put the Timberwolves ahead to stay, and Minnesota topped Denver 112-106 on Wednesday night to grab the final spot in the NBA playoffs.
The last West spot was the only one up for grabs on the season’s final night. It was the NBA’s first winner-gets-in, loser-goes-home game since 1997.
Denver would have gone to the postseason with a win at Minnesota.
Minnesota is in the playoffs for the first time since 2004 — ending what was the longest active drought in the NBA
The East is set.
It took 82 games, the entire regular season and even an overtime in Miami to decide things, but the bracket for the Eastern Conference playoffs is filled.
No. 1 Toronto will play No. 8 Washington, No. 2 Boston will meet No. 7 Milwaukee, No. 3 Philadelphia draws No. 6 Miami and No. 4 Cleveland gets No. 5 Indiana.
All the Game 1s will be Saturday or Sunday, at the lower seed.
Indiana went 3-1 against the Cavaliers in the regular season. All the other first-round matchups are ones where the playoff foes split four meetings this season.
For the first time since 2001, Philadelphia is a top-three seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
For the first time since 2008, LeBron James is not.
The 76ers routed Milwaukee 130-95 on Wednesday night to wrap up the No. 3 seed on the East bracket, and that meant No. 4 Cleveland will face No. 5 Indiana when the playoffs open this weekend.
Philadelphia’s 16-game winning streak is the longest to end a regular season in NBA history.
Philadelphia rolled from the start, taking a 46-18 lead after the first quarter. The 28-point margin tied for the sixth-largest in any quarter of 76ers history.
The only way Cleveland would have finished No. 3 was if it won and Philadelphia lost. But with the 76ers taking command so quickly and essentially locking Cleveland into No. 4 long before the final buzzers, James got most of Wednesday night off. He finished with 10 points in just over 10 minutes.
Russell Westbrook will average a triple-double for the second straight season.
The Oklahoma City guard came into Wednesday needing 16 rebounds against Memphis to average 10.0 boards this season — and got there in the third quarter of the Thunder’s game against the Grizzlies.
Westbrook has no issue outdueling teammates for rebounds, and grabbed 16 of the Thunder’s first 27 rebounds on Wednesday.
It’s only the third time in NBA history that someone has averaged a triple-double. Westbrook did it last year, and Oscar Robertson did it in 1961-62.
Houston Rockets forward Luc Mbah a Moute will likely miss at least the first round of the playoffs after dislocating his right shoulder in a meaningless game for the Western Conference leaders.
Coach Mike D’Antoni said Wednesday that Mbah a Moute will likely miss two to three weeks with the injury sustained against the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night.
Mbah a Moute missed 15 games in December and January after dislocating his right shoulder during a fall, and it happened again on a dunk in traffic at Staples Center.
Mbah a Moute is a key rotation player for the Rockets, who have the best record in the NBA. He averages 7.5 points and 3.0 rebounds per game off the bench.
There’s never been more points in an NBA regular season than this one.
For the fourth time in five years, the league’s single-season total points record has been broken. The record from last season was 259,753 points across the league, and that went down as most of the night’s early games were approaching halftime.
It’s been a season of milestones for the NBA. The league’s assist record was broken, with the NBA players combining for over 1,000 more than they had last season. And even as the points went up, apparently so did the missing — there were 82,311 defensive rebounds league-wide going into Wednesday night, and that was another NBA record.
No. 23 has played in all 82.
When LeBron James took the floor for Cleveland against New York on Wednesday night, it represented a first for the four-time MVP — this is the first of his 15 seasons in which he’s played in every regular-season game.
James has ordinarily sat out games at the end of the season when the Cavs have a seed locked up. That didn’t happen before the finale this year, so James played all the way to the finish. Cleveland can finish No. 3 or No. 4 in the East, depending on the outcome of its game against the Knicks and the Milwaukee at Philadelphia game.
James’ previous high for appearances was 81, back in the 2008-09 season. He says he’s tried this season to “change the narrative” about what a player in his 15th season is capable of doing.
James entered the finale averaging 27.7 points, 9.2 assists and 8.7 rebounds.
Toronto coach Dwane Casey is not giving his most important starters the night off in a finale that means nothing standings-wise to the Raptors.
Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and Jonas Valanciunas are all in the starting lineup Wednesday for Toronto at Miami. The Raptors not only have the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference wrapped up, but they’ll also finish with the NBA’s second-best record behind Houston.
Casey says the Raptors have been mindful of minutes all season for the team’s “high-usage” players like Lowry and DeRozan.
There is perhaps one statistical nugget that the Raptors are chasing: With a victory, Toronto would get to 60 wins on the season.
The final night of the NBA regular season has 12 games on the schedule, and eight have playoff implications.
There are also individual milestones and team records on the line.
The biggest game on Wednesday’s slate is the Denver at Minnesota contest, the first last-day-of-season game in 21 years where the winner will go to the playoffs and the loser will miss the postseason.
Utah’s game at Portland will decide the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference.
Other games that will help determine seeds and first-round matchups for the playoffs are New York at Cleveland, Washington at Orlando, Milwaukee at Philadelphia, San Antonio at New Orleans, Toronto at Miami and Memphis at Oklahoma City.
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