Nikola Jokic had 21 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists, and the Denver Nuggets beat the host Boston Celtics 114-105 on Monday night to clinch a playoff berth.
Will Barton had 20 points, Gary Harris added 16 and Paul Millsap had 12 points and 11 rebounds for Denver, which is back in the postseason for the first time since 2013.
The Nuggets (47-22) swept the season series from Boston and surpassed their win total from last season with 13 games to go. Denver needs just 10 wins to match the franchise record for a season set in 2012-13.
Kyrie Irving led the Celtics with a game-high 30 points, and Al Horford scored 20. Boston played without Gordon Hayward, who left the Saturday game against the Atlanta Hawks with a neck strain.
Spurs 111, Warriors 105
DeMar DeRozan scored 26 points, and LaMarcus Aldridge added 23 points and 13 rebounds as San Antonio beat visiting Golden State for its ninth win in a row.
The victory was the Spurs’ 11th straight at home and guaranteed San Antonio (42-29) its NBA-record 22nd consecutive winning season.
Rudy Gay added 17 points for the Spurs. Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 25 points, and Kevin Durant tallied 24 in his return to the lineup after missing the past two games with a sprained ankle.
Pelicans 129, Mavericks 124 (OT)
Dirk Nowitzki reached a milestone, but his Dallas teammates failed to make it a celebratory evening, blowing a four-point lead in the final 19.1 seconds of regulation as visiting New Orleans pulled out the overtime victory.
Nowitzki made his first two shots, both trademark jumpers, in the opening four minutes to surpass Wilt Chamberlain as the NBA’s sixth-leading all-time scorer.
Julius Randle finished with a game-high 30 points for New Orleans, and Elfrid Payton recorded his fifth consecutive triple-double with 19 points (11 coming in the fourth quarter and overtime), 11 assists and 10 rebounds. Luka Doncic notched a triple-double for the Mavericks with 29 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists.
Heat 116, Thunder 107
Goran Dragic hit six 3-pointers and scored 26 points off the bench to lead visiting Miami, and Dwyane Wade scored 25 in his final game at Oklahoma City.
James Johnson also added 14 points as Miami’s reserves outscored Oklahoma City’s 67-10. Dragic had 11 assists. Kelly Olynyk contributed 18 points and nine rebounds to help the Heat win for the seventh time in nine games.
Oklahoma City was playing without Russell Westbrook, who was suspended after picking up his 16th technical foul of the season in a Saturday loss to the Golden State Warriors. Paul George led the Thunder with 31 points, and he grabbed nine rebounds.
Jazz 116, Wizards 95
Rudy Gobert had 14 points and 14 rebounds, and visiting Utah beat Washington. Gobert, the reigning Western Conference Player of the Week, was 6 of 6 from the field and made 2 of 3 free throws.
Donovan Mitchell scored 19 points and Jae Crowder added 18 for the Jazz. Ricky Rubio had 10 assists.
Jabari Parker led Washington with 19 points, and Bradley Beal, the Eastern Conference Player of the Week, added 15 on 4-of-12 shooting.
Raptors 128, Knicks 92
Jeremy Lin scored 20 points off the bench, Pascal Siakam added 19 points and eight rebounds, and Toronto hammered visiting New York.
Kyle Lowry added 15 points and eight assists for the Raptors before leaving the game with an ankle injury during the third quarter. He did not return to action. Fred VanVleet scored 13 points and handed out 12 assists for the Raptors, who have won all three meetings with the Knicks so far this season.
Allonzo Trier scored 22 points for the Knicks while Kevin Knox added 12 points and Damyean Dotson added 11. New York lost for the ninth time in 10 games.
Cavaliers 126, Pistons 119
Rookie Collin Sexton poured in 27 points, including a go-ahead 3-pointer with less than two minutes left, and Cleveland beat visiting Detroit. Cedi Osman supplied 21 points and six assists for the Cavaliers, who had seven players score in double figures.
Brandon Knight contributed 16 points, four rebounds and five assists, while Nik Stauskas led the Cleveland bench with 17 points. Marquese Chriss added a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Wayne Ellington scored 25 points to lead the Pistons, while Andre Drummond had 21 points and 21 rebounds. Pistons All-Star Blake Griffin sat out for just the third time this season.
–Field Level Media