With victories over the Magic and 76ers, the Cavaliers and Thunder became the third and fourth teams to claim a spot in this year’s playoffs. Cleveland is the first Eastern Conference team to clinch, and they maintain a two-game lead over the Raptors. Oklahoma City, on the other hand, is 15.5 games behind the Warriors, and 11.5 games back on the Spurs.
LeBron James returned for the Cavaliers’ matchup against the Magic, and Cleveland won 109-103. James had 18 points, seven rebounds, and eight assists, but Kyrie Irving led Cleveland in scoring with 26 on 9/17 shooting. Tristan Thompson was a beast on the boards and on defense, corralling 15 rebounds and adding four steals and two blocks.
For Orlando, Victor Oladipo was on fire. Oladipo poured in a career-high 45 points on 16/22 shooting, including 6/7 from downtown. He stuffed the rest of the stat sheet as well, bringing in five rebounds, three assists, three steals, and two blocks.
The Cavaliers play in Miami on Saturday Night while Orlando travels to Toronto on Sunday.
In a game that tipped off right around the same time as the Cavaliers’ game, the Thunder blew out the Sixers 111-97. Russell Westbrook was able to record another triple-double, 20p/15r/10a, giving him 13 on the season. Kevin Durant was the game’s leading scorer with 26 on 11/16 shooting and added 13 rebounds and six assists.
Nik Stauskas had a career-high 23 points for Philadelphia. He shot 9/15 from the field, including 5/7 from three, and was the Sixers’ leading scorer. Jerami Grant and Nerlens Noel did their best on defense, registering five blocks to go along with 16 rebounds.
OKC’s next game is Saturday night in Indiana. Philadelphia plays at home to Boston on Sunday.
Around The League
Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum combined for 63 points as the Trail Blazers edged out the Pelicans, 117-112. Lillard’s 33 was a game-high, and he collected eight rebounds and six assists to boot. Both Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson had 30 for New Orleans.
James Harden had 29 points and 14 assists to lead the Rockets past the Timberwolves, 116-111. It was Harden’s fourth game of at least 25p/14a this season, tying Russell Westbrook for the most. Karl-Anthony Towns had 32 points and 11 rebounds to lead Minnesota.
Klay Thompson and Steph Curry put in 70 combined points in a win over the Mavs, 130-112. The Splash Brothers hit 16/27 threes, and Thompson hit 1,000 threes the second-fastest in NBA history. The fastest? Steph Curry.
CLE 109 – ORL 103
OKC 111 – PHI 97
SAC 108 – DET 115
BOS 91 – TOR 105
MINN 111 – HOU 116
POR 117 – NOLA 112
GSW 130 – DAL 112
PHX 95 – LAL 90