Lakers Take NBA Playoff Spot; Knicks, Nets Are Home for OpenersNancy Kercheval
The Los Angeles Lakers clinched the final playoff berth in the National Basketball Association’s Western Conference when the Utah Jazz lost their regular season-ending game last night.
The Lakers (45-37) then defeated the visiting Houston Rockets 99-95 in overtime at the Staples Center to move up to the seventh seed past the Rockets (45-37). Earlier in the evening, the host Memphis Grizzlies (56-26) won 86-70 against the Jazz (43-39) at FedExForum in Memphis.
Pau Gasol had 17 points, 20 rebounds and 11 assists for the Lakers.
The New York Knicks topped the Atlanta Hawks 98-92 and the Brooklyn Nets beat the Detroit Pistons 103-99 on the last night of the regular season.
At Madison Square Garden, Chris Copeland had 33 points and James White added 20 for the Knicks, who were playing without leading scorer Carmelo Anthony. Anthony sat out to rest before the start of the playoffs this weekend.
Mike Scott led the Hawks with 23 points and 14 rebounds and John Jenkins had 20 points.
Golden State’s Stephen Curry set a record for 3-pointers in a season when he hit his 270th in the second quarter of the Warriors’ 99-88 victory at the Portland Trail Blazers. He finished the season with 272. The mark of 269 had been set by Ray Allen in 2005-06.
The Knicks (54-28) host the Boston Celtics (41-40) and the Nets (49-33) are home against the Chicago Bulls (45-37) in the first game of their best-of-seven round-one series on April 20.
In other Eastern Conference playoff games, the defending champion Miami Heat host the Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta travels to Indiana on April 21.