The Brooklyn Nets staged the Los Angeles Clippers 129-120, despite Kawhi Leonard’s big performance in the NBA on Sunday.
Leonard posted a top 39 game for the Clippers but was not enough against the nets in Orlando, Florida.
Caris LeVert scored 27 points and 13 assists as the Nets finished seventh in the Eastern Conference.
Joe Harris added 25 points of his own for the Nets at Walt Disney World Resort, where teammate Jarrett Allen (16 points, 16 rebounds) finished with a double.
Damian Lillard, meanwhile, threw 51 points to inspire the Portland Trail Blazers in a 124-121 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.
Lillard made 16 of 28 shots and 15 of 16 free throws to elevate the Trail Blazers crossing the 76ers and within half a game of the Memphis Grizzlies for eighth place in the Western Conference.
It was Lillard’s fifth game with 50 points plus this season – tying Houston Rockets star James Harden – with all those appearances coming against teams that made the play-off last year
According to STATS, the last player to have five games with 50 points against post-season teams from the previous campaign was Michael Jordan (6) in 1986-87.
Austin Rivers had a game to remember as the Rockets climbed passed the Sacramento Kings 129-112. The Rocket Guard recorded a top career 41 points off the bench. Rivers is the first player in NBA history to score 40-point points, make six or more three-pointers and shoot 70.0-plus percent from the field off the field in a game, for STATS. Harden contributed 32 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Rockets.
Gordon Hayward’s 31-point display helped the Boston Celtics lead the Orlando Magic 122-119 in overtime. Jayson Tatum scored 29, including the tie basket with 4.2 seconds remaining in regulation.
Defending champions, the Toronto Raptors secured their second Eastern Conference race and their fifth consecutive season with at least 50 wins after beating the Grizzlies. Pascal Siakam had 26 points.
The San Antonio Spurs and their hopes of becoming the first team in NBA history to reach the playoffs for 23 straight seasons remain alive after the 122-113 win over the New Orleans Pelicans came out. San Antonio are in 10th place in the west, half of a Portland game for ninth place, which will secure a play-in series.
Zion Williamson will have to wait another year for basketball in the play offs after the Pelicans lost to the Spurs. Despite 31 points and eight three-pointers per season from JJ Redick, the Pelicans – coupled with Portland victory – were eliminated from the post-season brawl.
Wizards Wizards problems continued after falling to a 121-103 loss against Thunder Oklahoma City. Washington is the only team without a win that remains in Orlando, having gone 0-6 since the resumption.
After fighting the Clippers, Lillard came out great for the Trail Blazers in their meeting with the 76ers. A spectacular four-point game with less than three minutes left catapulted the Blazers into the lead.
It will be an epic meeting as the two best Eastern Conference teams meet on Monday. Giannis Antetokounmpo and top ranking Milwaukee Bucks get the Raptors in shape.