PHILADELPHIA: Tobias Harris scored 23 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lift the host Philadelphia 76ers past the Orlando Magic 108-101 Friday near Orlando, but the Magic ended up the day’s big winner nonetheless.
Despite the loss, Orlando clinched the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot after the Washington Wizards lost to the New Orleans Pelicans later in the day. Joel Embiid added 23 points and 13 rebounds while Alec Burks scored 22 points. Al Horford had 21 points and nine rebounds and Shake Milton handed out a career-high eight assists for the Sixers, who won their third in a row.
The Sixers played without All-Star Ben Simmons, who will remain sidelined indefinitely with a partially dislocated left kneecap. Nikola Vucevic led the Magic with 21 points and 12 rebounds while Evan Fournier added 22 points. D.J. Augustin scored 16 points, James Ennis III added 14 and Markelle Fultz had 13 for the Magic, who fell to 32-38. Terrence Ross missed all 10 of his field-goal attempts and did not score a point.
BROOKLYN NETS 119 – SACRAMENTO KINGS 106
Brooklyn improved to 3-2 since the restart and rebounded nicely from a 149-115 loss to the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night to join the Magic in clinching an Eastern Conference playoff spot. Caris LeVert made 9 of 21 shots and also handed out seven assists as the Nets shot 48.8 percent, made 17 3-pointers and handed out 30 assists. Joe Harris added 21 points and center Jarrett Allen nearly posted a triple-double with 17 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high eight assists. The Kings fell to 1-4 since the restart after going 10-5 in their final 15 games before the pause on March 11. Sacramento dropped to 13th in the Western Conference, 3 1/2 games behind eighth-place Memphis. Bogdan Bogdanovic led Sacramento with 27 points on 11-of-19 shooting.
BOSTON CELTICS 122 – TORONTO
Jaylen Brown scored 20 points and Jayson Tatum added 18 as Boston rolled to a victory over Toronto. The Raptors had won seven consecutive games, including their first three contests, since the resumption of play.
Kemba Walker scored 17 points in a contest in which Boston never trailed and led by as many as 40. Brad Wanamaker added 15 points, Daniel Theis contributed 11 points and 11 rebounds, Semi Ojeleye tallied 11 points and Robert Williams III scored 10 for the Celtics. Fred VanVleet scored 13 points to lead Toronto. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Kyle Lowry, Norman Powell and Pascal Siakam added 11 points apiece and Terence Davis had 10.
SAN ANTONIO SPURS 119 – UTAH JAZZ 111
Derrick White poured in 24 points and Jakob Poeltl added 19 points and 10 rebounds as San Antonio overwhelmed short-handed Utah at the HP Field House near Orlando in a key NBA seeding game. The Jazz played without four starters – Mike Conley (right knee soreness), Rudy Gobert (rest), Donovan Mitchell (left peroneal strain) and Royce O’Neale (right calf soreness). Lonnie Walker IV and Rudy Gay added 14 points for the Spurs. DeMar DeRozan hit for 13 and Dejounte Murray scored 11 for San Antonio. Jordan Clarkson scored 24 points off the bench for the Jazz, with Tony Bradley adding 15 points and 11 rebounds, Miye Oni and Emmanuel Mudiay contributing 14 points each, and Joe Ingles pumping in 12.
MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES 121 – OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER 92
Dillon Brooks scored 22 points to lead Memphis to a win over Oklahoma City. The Grizzlies win snapped a five-game losing streak that dated back to before the season was put on hold by the pandemic. It also kept Memphis in the eighth spot in the Western Conference, a game ahead of Portland with three games remaining. Memphis shot 55.4 percent from the field, including 8 of 11 shooting for Jonas Valanciunas, who added 19 points. Ja Morant also scored 19. Chris Paul led the Thunder with 17 points. Oklahoma City shot just 35.1 percent from the field, its worst shooting performance of the season.
NEW ORLEANS PELICANS 118 – WASHINGTON WIZARDS 107
Jrue Holiday scored 28 points as New Orleans overcame the absence of Zion Williamson to keep Washington winless in five games since the restart.
Williamson, who has been on a minutes restriction (conditioning), was held out as the Pelicans were playing their second game in as many days. Brandon Ingram added 17 points, JJ Redick started in Williamson’s place and scored 15, Frank Jackson scored 13 and Derrick Favors had 12 points and 10 rebounds. Rui Hachimura led Washington with 23 points, Thomas Bryant scored 22, Troy Brown Jr. had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Ish Smith had 18 points and 10 assists. — Reuters