The regular part of the NBA season reached its end last night. We now know which teams finished their campaign, which will continue through the play-in tournament, and which earned a direct place in the playoffs.
In the Eastern Conference, the No.7 Boston Celtics meet the No.8 Washington Wizards, who defeated the Charlotte Hornets last night in a direct clash for that seed.
Russell Westbrook reached his 38th triple-double of the year, with 23 points, 15 boards, and 10 assists. Bradley Beal added 25, and the Wizards posted a 115-110 win over direct rivals for the 8th seed. Terry Rozier had 22 points for the guests with nine boards and assists each, while LaMelo Ball scored 19 points.
The Wizards are 15-5 in the last 20 matches and have solid chances to beat the Cs, who are in a very, very tough position, losing Jaylen Brown and getting into a bad rhythm overall.
As for the Hornets, they are meeting the No.9 Indiana Pacers. The team from Indianapolis beat the Toronto Raptors 125-113 in Tampa Bay. Oshae Brissett dropped 31 points with 10 boards and was harassing the Raptors’ players when attacking the basket. Nick Nurse’s side didn’t have any chances to stop their former member who recently ended up among the Pacers. Domantas Sabonis had 25 points and 16 rebounds.
Among the hosts, Malachi Flynn had 27, Stanley Johnson 24, and Deandre Bembry 23 points. Toronto appeared without its best players, Siakam, Lowry, VanVleet, etc.
In the West, the Golden State Warriors and the Memphis Grizzlies both had the same record before last night’s matchup and were aiming that 8th seed in the conference.
Eventually, GSW beat the young team from Tennessee, 113-101. Steph Curry was unstoppable with 46 points, showing that he is at the MVP level right now. Andrew Wiggins scored 21 points, being a perfect backup to the Warriors’ superstar.
Memphis had Jonas Valanciunas with 29 points and 16 boards, but he alone wasn’t enough to compete with the three-time champions.
The Warriors clash with the No.7 Lakers, which is undoubtedly the central match of the entire play-in tournament.
As for the Grizzlies, they will host the No.10 San Antonio Spurs. At one point of the season, Taylor Jenkins’ boys looked as if they might even secure the place that leads directly to the playoffs. However, a tough and fierce competition in the West, combined with their inexperience, saw them slipping down to the ninth place.