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NBA: Memphis bag crucial win vs the Thunder, while Celtics blow out the Raptors and more

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With just a few more games left in the NBA bubble before the start of the playoffs, Friday saw a confirmation of two more teams in the NBA playoffs. Jaylen Brown scored 20 points, Jayson Tatum added 18 as the Boston Celtics notched a comfortable win over the Toronto Raptors to keep their slim chances of ending as the No. 2 seed.

Jrue Holiday scored 28 points, as Pelicans defeated the Wizards 118-107. The final two playoff berths in the NBA Eastern Conference were handed out to the Brooklyn Nets and Orlando Magic. A play-in series is looking likely before the start of the NBA playoffs to confirm the 8th seed in the Western Conference.

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Boston Celtics secured a dominant win vs the Raptors before the start of the NBA playoffs.
Boston Celtics secured a dominant win vs the Raptors before the start of the NBA playoffs.

Philadelphia 76ers 108-101 Orlando Magic

The Philadelphia 76ers pulled off a win vs Orlando Magic in the absence of key man, Ben Simmons. The performance wasn’t up to the mark and has been a consistent pattern for the Sixers since the restart of the NBA season. Joel Embiid starred with 23 points and 13 rebounds. Josh Richardson’s poor form continued as he shot 2-for-12. Sixers will have their work cut out to replicate the form inside the Wells Fargo Center this season to stand a good chance of beating the Boston Celtics or Miami Heat, two of their fiercest rivals, in the first round of the playoffs.

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Alec Burks turned in 22 points off the bench and Matisse Thybulle had a significant contribution in their lacklustre win.

“We don’t have him for tonight and you’re just numb to it,” said coach Brett Brown. “You just move [on]. It ends up, as I’ve said, it’s like, ‘ready, fire, aim.’ You figure it out.”

Memphis Grizzlies 121-92 Oklahoma City Thunder

Rookie, Ja Morant put in an impressive display to strengthen the Grizzlies’ chances of making the playoffs by beating Oklahoma City Thunder, 121 – 92.

Jonas Valancuinas recorded a double-double, which was his 36th of the season.

With three games left, the Grizzlies hold a one-game lead over the Portland Blazers and a two-game lead over the Spurs.

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Due to a disastrous start to the season in the NBA bubble in Orlando, they may have to face a play-in series if the next seed below them, is within four games.

Brooklyn Nets 119 – 106 Sacramento Kings

The Brooklyn Nets finally clinched a playoff berth after beating the Sacramento Kings.

The Nets are now guaranteed to finish in either seventh or eighth place.

Caris LeVert produced 19 of his 22 points in the first half.  Despite key players missing, the Nets have scored 115+ points in five straight games, which is equals their longest streak in franchise history.

Meanwhile, The Kings need to win out and receive some help to overtake Portland, San Antonio and Phoenix to earn a spot in the West play-in series.

Nets were highly impressive vs the Kings in the NBA bubble.
Nets were highly impressive vs the Kings in the NBA bubble.

Other NBA Results of the Day :

Boston Celtics  122 – 100 Toronto Raptors

San Antonio Spurs 119-111 Utah Jazz

New Orleans Pelicans 118 – 107 Washington Wizards

ALSO READ:

Ben Simmons Suffers Devastating Knee Injury, Could Miss Crucial Playoff Games

 

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