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All 30 NBA teams played on the last day of the regular season. Of course, a lot of teams benched their key players, which allowed for some incredible performances from some unusual sources. We also saw the stage set for the playoffs, the play-in tournament, and the draft lottery. Let's dive into this 15-game Sunday slate!
Nets 134, Pacers 126
With the victory in this game, Brooklyn secured the 7-seed in the East and will host the Cavs on Tuesday for a chance to play the Celtics in the first round. Kevin Durant’s shot wasn’t falling (5-for-17 FGs), so he decided to dish out a career-high 16 assists as he recorded his 16th career triple-double.
Kyrie Irving carried the offensive scoring load, hitting 15 of his 20 shot attempts on his way to 35 points. After back-to-back poor shooting performances, Kyrie finished the regular season on a high note.
Andre Drummond had a monster game as well, finishing with 20 points, 13 rebounds, and two blocks while hitting all nine of his shot attempts and both free throws. Drummond hitting both free throws is probably more surprising than him hitting all of his field goal attempts, but him doing all of this in just 20 minutes is the most impressive part.
Bruce Brown stuffed the stat sheet with a line of 21/7/3/3/2. He’s been a defensive stat menace lately with four steals over his last two games and 13 blocks over his last five. He’s been a vital piece for the Nets and should stick around next season as a great option for defensive stats.
Kessler Edwards signed a full contract with the Nets earlier in the day and then as thrusted into the starting unit in place of Seth Curry. Edwards finished with 10 points, five rebounds, and two blocks.
The Pacers finished the regular season exactly the way they wanted to: competing with a good team while still adding to the loss column. They end the season on a 10-game losing streak. Oshae Brissett led the way for the Pacers with 28 points, eight boards, and five triples. He’s been a very good scoring option for the Pacers over the past two months after not seeing many shots at the beginning of the season. There’s a solid chance that he won’t see many minutes on a fully healthy Pacers team, so this may have been the last time we see him score this much consistently.
Tyrese Haliburton finished the season with a 17/10 double-double, which was his 25th of the season. He finishes his second season averaging 15.3 points and 8.2 assists per game.
With Goga Bitadze and Jalen Smith both sidelined, Isaiah Jackson got another start. He played 32 minutes and finished with seven points, three rebounds, two steals, and one block. He’s had some big games this season, but it’ll be difficult for him to compete for a huge role with Myles Turner likely back next season and Bitadze healthy. Smith will be an unrestricted free agent.
T.J. McConnell played in just his third game since December 3rd, and he put up the numbers we expect from him. He finished with 14 points, five assists, and a season-high four steals.
Hornets 124, Wizards 108
Despite the win, the Hornets will remain the 10-seed in the East and will play the Hawks on Wednesday for a chance to advance to a second play-in game. LaMelo Ball nearly finished with a triple-double, as he posted a 24/10/9 line with six triples. However, he’ll need to cut down on the eight turnovers if they want to win during the postseason.
Terry Rozier scored a game-high 25 points with six assists and five triples. Rozier had scored less than 20 points in five of his previous six games, so this was a strong finish to the regular season.
Gordon Hayward will be out for at least two more weeks, which is good news for the production of other Hornets wings, though none of them played particularly well in this game. Miles Bridges, Kelly Oubre Jr., and Cody Martin should all have big roles moving forward, with Bridges being the obvious star. They shot a combined 6-for-20 in this game, which should be better moving forward
Rui Hachimura led the Wizards with 21 points, which is actually the fifth time he’s scored exactly 21 points in his last eight games. He took advantage of Kyle Kuzma being sidelined and finished the season strong.
Corey Kispert has played well lately and finished the season with a 20-point performance with four triples. He ends the season having hit at least one triple in 15 straight games.
With Thomas Bryant out for this game, Vernon Carey Jr. backed up Daniel Gafford at the center position. Carey Jr. finished with season-bests of 11 points and seven rebounds, while Gafford finished with 13 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks.
Tomas Satoransky got another start at point guard and finished with a line of 5/6/9 in 20 minutes. He’s averaged 8.3 assists in just 21.7 minutes over his last eight games.
Cavaliers 133, Bucks 115
Cleveland locked up the 8-seed with the win, allowing them a play-in matchup with the Nets. Kevin Love led the way with 32 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 triples… In just 15 minutes. The eight triples were a season-high, but let’s play the unrealistic hypothetical game here. If Love were to have continued those numbers for a full 48 minutes, he would’ve finished with roughly 102 points, 32 rebounds, and 35 triples. Yes, he would’ve eclipsed Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point mark and would’ve hit 2.5x more 3-pointers than Klay Thompson’s single-game record of 14. No, it wouldn’t have happened if he played the full 48 minutes. But, what if?
Rajon Rondo joined Love in bench dominance, recording a season-high 13 assists in 25 minutes.
Lauri Markkanen led the starters with 23 points and seven rebounds in 21 minutes. Evan Mobley finished his rookie regular season with 18 points, 10 rebounds, and four blocks. While he probably locked up Rookie of the Year a while ago, this was a solid performance to finish the regular season with.
The Bucks slipped to the 3-seed in the East with the loss, setting them up with the Bulls as their first round matchup. Which they were apparently very okay with, as they sat the majority of their rotation guys.
No Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez, or Bobby Portis in this game, and only about five seconds of Jrue Holiday. He needed to play in this game to earn an incentive, so he quickly fouled and got out of the game.
Sandro Mamukelashvili led the Bucks with 28 points and 13 rebounds in 43 minutes, which were all career-highs for him.
Thanasis Antetokounmpo tried to replicate what his brother brings but ended up shooting too well from the free throw line (8-for-10). He did score 27 points on 9-for-14 shooting, which is a lot like what Giannis does.
Jordan Nwora played 44 minutes, finishing with 24 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists. He didn’t shoot the ball great (7-for-23), but he’s been a solid option as a spot starter this season. It tends to happen when the Bucks have nobody available, and he has to play 40+ minutes.
Hawks 130, Rockets 114
With the win, the Hawks finished as the 9-seed in the East, which sets them up to host the Hornets on Wednesday in the play-in tournament. Trae Young finished with 28 points and 11 assists in this game, which allowed him to finish as the regular season leader for both total points and total assists. He joins Tiny Archibald as the only players to do that in NBA history. I actually dare the media to not vote Trae to an All-NBA team just so we can see him play with that added motivation. He already thrives in negativity. If he puts up these numbers and still doesn’t get respect, he’s going to tear up the league.
De'Andre Hunter rebounded from two poor performances by scoring 22 points and hitting all four of his attempts from deep.
Danilo Gallinari also rebounded from a bad shooting night, finishing with 26 points and six triples in this one.
Bogdan Bogdanovic finished with a 14/6/7 line with four 3-pointers. The seven assists tied his season-high, and he’s now hit 18 triples over his last four games.
Jalen Green finished his rookie season on about as high of a note as you can. He rebounded from an eight point night and scored 41 points with four triples. If you take out that eight point game, Green averaged 30.6 points and 5.1 triples over his final eight games of the season. That’s quite the way to end your rookie season. He doesn’t provide a ton of defensive stats, but he’s shown he can chip in some rebounds and assists. He’s provided 5th round value over the past two weeks and should be viewed as a top-75 fantasy asset heading into his second season.
His partner in the backcourt Kevin Porter Jr. also posted a solid line of 26/8/6 with six triples. Over the past two weeks, KPJ has posted top-10 fantasy numbers, despite his high turnover numbers. He has the talent, it’s just been about stringing these performances together consistently. If his last seven games can be an indicator of what we should expect next season, KPJ should be the top fantasy asset in Houston, and that includes fantasy football.
76ers 118, Pistons 106
With Joel Embiid and James Harden sidelined, Shake Milton stepped up on the offensive end to help lead the 76ers to victory. After a solid start to the season, Milton was plagued by a back issue that kept him out for over a month. He hasn’t really gotten into a rhythm offensively, but this may have been the game he needed to get back on track for the playoffs. He had some sneaky performances for the 76ers in the playoffs last season, so keep him on your radar for the postseason.
Doc Rivers didn’t want to overwork Tyrese Maxey in a game that wouldn’t impact their seeding, but he could’ve scored a lot more in his normal workload. He won’t be such a focal point of the offense in the postseason with Joel Embiid and James Harden active, but he appears ready for the playoffs. He also seems to have solidified his role as the third scoring option ahead of Tobias Harris.
Paul Reed has played a solid role off the bench for Philadelphia lately, so it was nice to see him get rewarded with some extra playing time. He took advantage of it with this performance, and he now has eight steals over the past two days. His minutes have been scarce, but he’s still found a way to force turnovers in the time he’s been given. We’ll see how the 76ers use him in the playoffs, though it'll likely be in a small role, which will limit his fantasy value. However, with Matisse Thybulle ineligible for games in Toronto, Reed could be a factor in their first round series.
With Embiid out, DeAndre Jordan got the start at center and had his best game since joining Philadelphia. There’s no chance that Jordan gets a start in the postseason if Embiid is playing, but it’s nice to know he can still produce as a spot starter if needed.
The Pistons started Luka Garza in favor of Isaiah Stewart for the second half, likely to get their young guys as much NBA experience as they could get before offseason. We’ll see if Garza’s performance can help keep him around Detroit for next season. Garza finishes his rookie season averaging 5.8 points and 3.1 rebounds in 12.2 minutes per game in 32 appearances for Detroit.
Braxton Key started the second half for Saddiq Bey, as the Pistons opted to bench their core guys for the second half. Key has stepped in for the Pistons and been very solid for them since joining the team a couple weeks ago. In April, Key is averaging 10.6 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.2 steals, and a block in 23.8 minutes per game. He’s really made his case to stick around the team next season.
Isaiah Livers only played one game for the Pistons before February 27th, but he’s really finished off the season strong. He has six steals and nine triples over his last five games and has proven he belongs in the NBA. He may have only gotten the minutes he did because of injuries, but he showed that he can produce both triples and defensive stats when he’s given the opportunity.
Celtics 139, Grizzlies 110
The Celtics took advantage of the Grizzlies resting their rotation players and locked up the 2-seed in the East, where they’ll await the winner of Nets/Cavs to find out who their opponent will be for the first round.
While it was the Boston starters against some bench players and some guys that never touch the court, the Celtics were very efficient. Jayson Tatum scored 31 points with six triples on 11-of-14 shooting in just 26 minutes. Despite the amount of times Boston has blown teams out recently, this was actually the fewest minutes Tatum has played in a game all season.
A few of the Celtics bench guys scored a handful of points in limited minutes. Payton Pritchard put up 12 points in 15 minutes. Luke Kornet scored 10 points in 13 minutes. Malik Fitts finished with seven points in nine minutes.
Memphis didn’t play many of their usual guys because they were already locked in to the 2-seed out West. They’ll play the winner of Timberwolves/Clippers in the first round.
Kyle Anderson, De'Anthony Melton, and Ziaire Williams were the normal rotation guys that still played in this game. Slo-Mo posted a 16/7/3/3/2 line, while Williams and Melton finished with 18 and 14 points apiece.
John Konchar was a silly season hero in this game, finishing with his first career triple-double and a line of 17/13/10/2/1.
Santi Aldama added to the silliness with a 20/10 double-double.
Knicks 105, Raptors 94
Toppin made sure that the Raptors knew that there “Ain’t no stoppin’ Obi Toppin”. Toppin scored a career-high 42 points with six triples. With this kind of performance and the recent reports about Julius Randle, the odds seem very slim of Randle returning to the Knicks next season.
Quickley recorded his second career triple-double, but did finish with career-highs of 34 points and 12 assists. The Knicks have a nice core to build around. Hopefully they’ll allow Quickley and Toppin to thrive next season, which would make them great fantasy assets.
Jericho Sims played 39 minutes and pulled down 14 boards. He’s pretty limited in what he can provide, but boy can he rebound the basketball.
The Raptors didn’t play many starters, but the ones that did didn’t play many minutes. They were already locked into the 5-seed in the East and will face the 76ers in the first round.
Chris Boucher led the team with 21 points off the bench. Gary Trent Jr. led the starters with 17 points. Thaddeus Young finished with two steals and a block. The Raptors’ B-Team didn’t exactly rise to the occasion in this one.
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Magic 125, Heat 111
Orlando ended their terrible season on a good note. They proved they’re the best basketball team in Florida because you’re only as good as your last game. Right?
Markelle Fultz got his third straight start and dished out a season-high 15 dimes to go with 10 points. It’ll be interesting to see what the Magic do in the off-season with their surplus of guards. It’s weird to think that the Magic have a surplus of guards (Cole Anthony, Jalen Suggs, Fultz, RJ Hampton) and a surplus of bigs (Wendell Carter Jr., Mo Bamba, Jonathan Isaac, Chuma Okeke, Moritz Wagner), but what they don’t have is a surplus of wins. Factor in another lottery pick, and Orlando will need to make some moves.
Bamba finished with a 21/10 double-double with five triples. He’s scored 21 points with five triples in two of his last three games. The one he didn’t was the game he left after five minutes because of an ankle injury.
Hampton scored a season-high 21 points with six rebounds and five assists. Wagner started another game in place of Carter Jr. and posted a line of 14/11/5. Okeke added 17 points with five triples.
With the 1-seed already locked up, the Heat allowed Victor Oladipo to start, and he looked right at home playing in the city where he was drafted. Oladipo scored 40 points for the first time since 2017 to go with 10 rebounds, seven assists, two steals, and five triples. The incredibly deep Heat just got deeper. If he can produce at this rate in limited minutes, the Heat might have too much firepower for most teams to deal with.
Haywood Highsmith played a career-high 40 minutes, which allowed him to score a career-best 16 points.
Javonte Smart scored a career-high 20 points with four triples. Highsmith and Smart likely won’t post these numbers moving forward.
Bulls 124, Timberwolves 120
Williams scored a career-high 35 points with three triples, four boards, and four assists. After missing a majority of the season, he was given a chance to shine and took advantage. He appears to be ready to help the Bulls make a postseason push.
Dosunmu scored a career-high 26 points while playing 45 minutes. He added six assists but turned it over seven times.
Troy Brown Jr. got the start and finished with a 17/11 double-double, which was his first of the season. These guys won’t maintain this production in the postseason when the Bulls return to their normal rotation, but they proved they can do it if they need to.
Minnesota was already set up to play the Clippers in the play-in tournament with a chance to play the Grizzlies on the line, so they rested some starters and limited the minutes of others.
Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell didn’t play, while Anthony Edwards, Jarred Vanderbilt, Patrick Beverley, and Malik Beasley had short nights. Chris Finch didn’t play any of them over 20 minutes, and Beverley made sure of that by getting ejected in the second quarter.
Nathan Knight played silly season hero in this game by leading the team in scoring and rebounding with 17 points and eight rebounds off the bench.
Naz Reid finished with 14 points and was the only starter to score in double figures.
Mavericks 130, Spurs 120
Dallas had a chance to move up to the 3-seed if the Warriors lost, but now that’s all overshadowed by Luka Doncic’s calf injury. While it’s expected that Luka didn’t suffer a major injury, we’ll know more soon.
Before Luka left, he posted a 26/8/9/2/1 line with two triples. He’ll have a week to recover before they play again, so hopefully that’ll give him enough time to be fully healthy for game one.
Dwight Powell played in his 82nd game this season and finished with 12 points and seven rebounds. He’s been fantastic for Dallas lately and shouldn’t have a problem keeping it up in the playoffs.
Theo Pinson, who spent a majority of the season on the injury report, scored a season-high 16 points with four triples while shooting 5-for-5 from the floor. He likely won’t have a major role in the postseason, but this was a solid finish to an injury plagued season for him.
The Spurs already locked up the 10-seed in the West, setting them to play the Pelicans in the play-in tournament. However, Gregg Popovich opted to play his starters after giving them the night off on Saturday.
Dejounte Murray returned from a five game absence with an illness and finished with 17 points, seven assists, and three steals. It wasn’t his best performance, so hopefully he’ll be healthier for the play-in tournament.
Keldon Johnson led the team with 24 points and added in six rebounds, three assists, and four steals. The steals were a season-high for him and a nice bonus considering he doesn’t collect too many defensive stats.
Jakob Poeltl posted a 12/10 double-double in just 29 minutes.
Lakers 146, Nuggets 141
Talen Horton-Tucker had a 40-point game two games ago, but he left this game early after spraining his ankle. He had 10 points before he left. Instead, two other young guards stepped up with monster performances. Malik Monk scored a career-high 41 points on seven triples, while Austin Reaves recorded his first career triple-double with a line of 31/16/10/2/1 with three triples. The points, rebounds, and assists were all career-highs for Reaves. Per StatMuse, Reaves is the first Laker rookie with a 30-point triple-double since Jerry West.
McClung played in just his second NBA game and finished with a 6/3/1/1/1 line.
Wenyen Gabriel recorded the first double-double of his career with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
It would’ve taken the Jazz losing to Portland for the Nuggets to move into the 5-seed, so they decided to rest their starters. After all, nobody loses to Portland. Denver will play the Warriors in the first round.
Markus Howard led the Nuggets in scoring with 25 points off the bench, which was a career-high for him.
DeMarcus Cousins started at center and finished with a 17/9/5/1/2 line. He’s proven to be a capable spot start option when Nikola Jokic is out, and that should lead him to a contract somewhere this summer.
Bryn Forbes was the only Nugget to play more than 30 minutes, and he scored 24 points on five triples, which is the most he’s scored since early February.
Clippers 138, Thunder 88
The Clippers rested some key guys since they’re already set up to play the Timberwolves in the play-in. However, most teams' benches are significantly better than the lineups the Thunder have been sending out lately.
Amir Coffey led the Clippers by posting multiple season-highs. He finished with 35 points, 13 rebounds, and seven triples in this game. All season-highs. All team-highs for this game.
Brandon Boston Jr. scored 18 points and added career-highs of seven rebounds and five assists. Xavier Moon also posted career-highs of 17 points and seven assists. They won’t have much of a role in the postseason, but Coffey and Boston Jr. could play bigger roles for the Clippers next season.
A 50-point loss is the perfect ending to the season for OKC.
Georgios Kalaitzakis played all 48 minutes and finished with 17 points, six rebounds, three assists, two steals, and three triples.
Zavier Simpson played 45 minutes and posted a 17/9/7/1/1 line.
Jaylen Hoard also played 45 minutes, and finished with a line of 14/15/3/1/1.
OKC played six players in this game, with Isaiah Roby being the only one that didn’t play 40 minutes. Roby’s also the only one that will be on the team at the start of next season. Don’t even bother trying to forecast the guys the Thunder are playing as potential late-round targets for next season. They won’t see minutes until next silly season.
Warriors 128, Pelicans 107
Klay Thompson helped the Warriors lock up the 3-seed and a first round matchup with the Nuggets. He’s been on fire lately, hitting 21 triples over his last three games. He scored a season-high 41 points in this game.
After two games of not scoring 20 points, Poole started a new 20-point streak by scoring 22 in this one. When Stephen Curry returns, it’s unlikely he strings together another 17 games of scoring at least 20. However, Curry’s status is uncertain for Game 1 of the playoffs, which means Poole could play a huge role.
Golden State rested Andrew Wiggins and Otto Porter for this game, which allowed Jonathan Kuminga and Nemanja Bjelica to have increased roles. Kuminga finished with 18 points and three triples. Bjelica didn’t score much with just four points, but he did contribute seven rebounds and seven assists.
New Orleans opted to rest their core guys since they were already set up to play the Spurs in the play-in.
C.J. McCollum was one of the only usual rotation players that played in this game for the Pelicans, but he only played six minutes before sitting out the rest of the game. He recorded an assist in this game, but his best assist was how he assisted DFS players with his pregame tweet that said he was only going to play a few minutes.
Gary Clark scored 17 points off the bench on four triples and also contributed six rebounds and three assists. The assists and points were both season-highs for him.
Jared Harper almost recorded his first double-double with 10 points and a career-high nine assists.
Kings 116, Suns 109
Sacramento ended their season with a victory and another big performance from Davion Mitchell. He followed up his 17 assist performance two games ago with an 18/15 double-double in this game. He’s dropped 58 dimes over his last five games. He should be able to continue this next season even with De'Aaron Fox back in the lineup.
Harrison Barnes started but only played 13 minutes. In the season finale, the Kings opted to defer to the younger guys. Barnes should be fine for next season.
Phoenix locked up the top record in the league a while ago, so the only starter that played was Mikal Bridges, because he doesn’t miss games. Bridges played six minutes before calling it a night.
Landry Shamet led the Suns in scoring with 27 points on five triples. He won’t see that many shot attempts in the postseason, but he can be a viable shooting option for them if necessary.
JaVale McGee only played 22 minutes, but he finished with his first double-double in a month with 11 points and 13 rebounds.
Ishmail Wainright signed a full contract with Phoenix earlier in the day and then contributed 15 points and four steals in this one.
Bismack Biyombo nearly double-doubled with 14 points, nine rebounds, and two blocks off the bench.
Jazz 111, Trail Blazers 80
Without Donovan Mitchell, the Jazz secured the 5-seed and a first round matchup with Dallas.
Juancho Hernangomez led the Jazz in scoring with 22 points, four triples, and eight rebounds in this game. The points were a season-high for the movie star.
Rudy Gobert recorded his ninth straight double-double with 18 points, 13 rebounds, and two blocks.
Mike Conley chipped in 14 points, five rebounds, and three steals. Jordan Clarkson struggled with his shot off the bench (4-for-13), but he did come away with season-highs of 11 rebounds and three steals.
Finally, the tanking is over. Not one player that played in the season opener for Portland played in the season finale. We’ll see if their efforts pay off with a good draft pick. Even though none of these guys will play big roles for the Blazers next season, we can still highlight their performances.
Reggie Perry led the team with 20 points, eight rebounds, and five assists. The points and assists were both career-highs for him.
Keon Johnson has taken advantage of Portland’s tanking, but he struggled with his shot in this game. He still finished with a full line of 8/3/6/3/1.
Ben McLemore and CJ Elleby were both on the opening day roster, but neither played in the first game. McLemore shot 4-for-4 from the floor in this game for 13 points off the bench, while Elleby scored 12 points on 5-for-6 shooting as a starter.
We need Damian Lillard back.