Grizzlies tame Mavericks

(The Sports Xchange) – Highlights of Wednesday’s National Basketball Association games.

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Grizzlies 106, Mavericks 95 (overtime)

Mike Conley hit two free throws with 1.1 seconds left in overtime, and the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Dallas Mavericks in a game that decided who would be the seventh seed in the Western Conference.

Memphis (50-32) took the honours and will now open the post-season against the second-seed Oklahoma City Thunder, while eighth-seeded Dallas (49-33) opens against the San Antonio Spurs.

The Grizzlies got 27 points and 14 rebounds from power forward Zach Randolph. Conley scored 22 points, and center Marc Gasol just missed a triple-double with 19 points, nine rebounds and nine assists.

Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas with 30 points. Monta Ellis had 18 and forced overtime on his tying three-pointer with 13 seconds left in regulation.

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 Thunder 112, Pistons 111

Kevin Durant scored 21 of his game-high 42 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a victory over the Detroit Pistons.

The win secured the second seed berth in the Western Conference for the Thunder (59-23), who will open the playoffs on Saturday against Memphis.

Oklahoma City trailed by 10 points in the fourth but Durant kicked his game into high gear and showed why he is the leading candidate to win the league MVP Award.

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 Wizards 118, Celtics 102

The Washington Wizards, set to make their first NBA playoff appearance since 2008, captured the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference by finishing their regular season with a victory over the Boston Celtics.

The Wizards (44-38) clinched the sixth spot with the win and then the fifth seed with the Brooklyn Nets’ loss in Cleveland. The Wizards will face Chicago in the first round of the playoffs.

Bradley Beal had a team-high 27 points to lead Washington.

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 Bobcats 91, Bulls 86 (overtime)

Kemba Walker scored 22 points, including eight in overtime, as the Charlotte Bobcats outlasted the Chicago Bulls in the regular-season finale between two Eastern Conference playoff teams.

The Bobcats scored the first four points of overtime and went on to outscore the Bulls 11-6 in the extra session.

Charlotte (43-39) finishes as the seventh seed and will open the playoffs against Miami, while the fourth seeded Bulls (48-34) will host Washington in the first round.

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 Cavaliers 114, Nets 85

The Brooklyn Nets chose to rest their starters in a defeat that dropped them to the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference.

Brooklyn (44-38) will face the Atlantic Division champion Toronto Raptors on Saturday in Game One of a best-of-seven, first-round playoff series.

Tyler Zeller led Cleveland (33-49) with 22 points.

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 Pacers 101, Magic 86

Lightly regarded forward Rasual Butler scored a season-high 19 points, leading the Indiana Pacers to a victory over the hapless Orlando Magic.

The Pacers (56-26) had already clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference and rested three regular starters. Indiana opens the playoffs this weekend against eighth-seeded Atlanta.

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