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Atlanta Hawks, New York Knicks seal playoffs berth; LA Lakers edge closer with victory over Houston Rockets-Sports News , Happy Easterday

Atlanta Hawks, New York Knicks seal playoffs berth; LA Lakers edge nearer with victory over Houston Rockets-Sports activities Information , Pleased Easterday

The Atlanta Hawks clinched their first playoff berth since 2016 with a 120-116 come-from-behind victory over the Washington Wizards, and the New York Knicks have been assured of their first post-season spot since 2013 when the Boston Celtics fell 102-94 to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Lakers reserve Kyle Kuzma drove for the go-ahead layup with 6.9 seconds remaining, placing Los Angeles up 123-122 after they’d surrendered 9 straight factors to fall one level down. AFP

Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Lakers raised their 2020 NBA championship banner on Wednesday, then scraped a 124-122 victory over the hapless Houston Rockets to maintain alive their hopes of direct entry to the 2021 playoffs.

The Atlanta Hawks clinched their first playoff berth since 2016 with a 120-116 come-from-behind victory over the Washington Wizards, and the New York Knicks have been assured of their first post-season spot since 2013 when the Boston Celtics fell 102-94 to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

However with the common season rushing towards its shut on Sunday, the Lakers remained outdoors the highest six within the Western Convention and certain having to advance via the play-in match for the groups ranked seventh via tenth in every convention.

Lakers reserve Kyle Kuzma drove for the go-ahead layup with 6.9 seconds remaining, placing Los Angeles up 123-122 after they’d surrendered 9 straight factors to fall one level down.

Lakers ahead Wesley Matthews then managed to poke the ball away from Houston’s Kelly Olynyk on what could be the Rockets’ last possession, and Talen Horton-Tucker made a free-throw to finish the scoring.

Even with superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis sidelined by accidents, the Lakers would not have anticipated to chop it so wonderful in opposition to a Rockets group that owns the worst report within the league.

Earlier than tip-off, a crowd of 4,087 noticed the Lakers lastly elevate the franchise’s seventeenth championship banner to the rafters.

‘That is for you’

The Lakers had waited till pandemic restrictions eased sufficient to permit some followers within the stands for the second and James, nonetheless feeling the results of a excessive ankle sprain suffered in March, was available to handle the group.

“We couldn’t ship this banner to the rafters with out you guys,” he informed followers. “That is completely for you guys. On the highway to back-to-back (titles), begins in a couple of week.”

The groups occupying the ultimate two playoff spots within the West, Portland and Dallas, each received on Wednesday, Portland downing the league-leading Utah Jazz 105-98 and Dallas beating the New Orleans Pelicans 125-107.

Luka Doncic scored 33 factors with eight rebounds and eight assists for the Mavericks, whose victory eradicated the Pelicans from post-season rivalry.

Kristaps Porzingis returned from a seven-game damage absence to attain 19 factors in 22 minutes on courtroom for the Mavs.

Portland, in the meantime, have been fueled by 30 factors from Damian Lillard and 26 from CJ McCollum.

Extra items of the playoff puzzle fell into place within the East, the place Trae Younger scored 33 factors to propel the Hawks previous the Wizards.

John Collins, fed by Younger, drained a go-ahead three-pointer with 24.8 seconds left to play because the Hawks erased a 13-point third-quarter deficit and secured the win.

“We have been preventing all recreation,” Younger mentioned after the Hawks withstood a 34-point, 15-assist efficiency from Wizards star Russell Westbrook.

“Photographs weren’t going our method, Russ was taking part in loopy out of his thoughts,” Younger mentioned. “We would have liked to maintain preventing, maintain believing and that is what we did.”

Atlanta out-scored the Wizards 37-25 within the last body, holding Washington scoreless over the ultimate 2:43 as they beat them for the second time in three nights.

The Knicks had the evening off, however their playoff berth was secured when the Celtics fell to the Cavs— who had misplaced 11 straight and have been already eradicated from playoff rivalry.

The defeat means the Celtics will battle within the play-in match for a berth within the playoffs correct.

‘The Beard’ is again

Kevin Love scored a season-high 30 factors for the Cavs and Collin Sexton added 28, whereas Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 29 factors.

Already reeling from the lack of Jaylen Brown for the remainder of the season with a torn left wrist ligament, the Celtics have been with out injured Kemba Walker and Marcus Sensible as they misplaced for the eighth time in 11 video games.

Elsewhere within the East, James Harden returned from a nagging hamstring damage to attain 18 factors with 11 assists and 7 rebounds within the Brooklyn Nets’ wire-to-wire 128-116 victory over the San Antonio Spurs.

The victory left the Nets a slim hope of catching the Philadelphia 76ers for the highest seed within the East.

The Spurs, who have been led by 21 factors from DeMar DeRozan, are in tenth place within the West, with a two-game lead over the Sacramento Kings for the ultimate play-in spot.

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Updated: May 13, 2021 — 8:43 am

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