Paul George scored 27 points Cheap Customized Jacksonville Jaguars Jerseys , Russell Westbrook got his 25th triple-double of the season and the Oklahoma City Thunder clinched a playoff spot with a 115-93 win over the Miami Heat on Monday night.
Westbrook finished with 23 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists for the Thunder, who were down 18 in the opening minutes before outscoring the Heat 39-12 in the fourth.
The 27-point margin was the third-worst for any quarter in Heat history, and the worst ever in a game at Miami.
Jerami Grant scored 17 points and Carmelo Anthony added 11 for Oklahoma City, which made 14 3-pointers.
Josh Richardson scored 18 points and Hassan Whiteside added 16 for the Heat, whose playoff seed won’t be decided until the season-finales Wednesday. Justise Winslow and Tyler Johnson each scored 12 for Miami, and James Johnson added 11.
CAVALIERS 123, KNICKS 109
NEW YORK (AP) – LeBron James had 26 points and 11 assists, Kevin Love scored 28 points, and the Cavaliers got their 50th win and another Central Division title by beating the Knicks.
The Cavaliers pulled within a half-game of Philadelphia for the No. 3 spot in the Eastern Conference, bouncing back from their loss to the 76ers on Friday and winning for the sixth time in seven games.
They reached 50 wins for the fourth time in four seasons since James returned from Miami and the 11th time in franchise history.
J.R. Smith and Jordan Clarkson added 16 points apiece for the Cavaliers, who made 19 3-pointers and won for the ninth straight time at Madison Square Garden.
Michael Beasley scored 20 points for the Knicks in their final home game of the season, which opened a home-and-home series. Rookie Frank Ntilikina added a career-high 17 and Courtney Lee also had 17.
SPURS 98 Youth Cleveland Browns Jerseys , KINGS 85
SAN ANTONIO (AP) – Rudy Gay scored 18 points, Manu Ginobili had 17 and the Spurs rallied late to beat the Kings and clinch their 21st straight postseason appearance.
Sacramento, which was eliminated from the postseason on March 11, led by 14 points before being outscored 38-19 in the fourth quarter.
Reserves Gay, Ginobili and Bryn Forbes combined for 25 points in the fourth quarter. Forbes finished with 11 points total.
Willie Cauley-Stein led Sacramento with 25 points and 10 rebounds.
RAPTORS 108, PISTONS 98
DETROIT (AP) – Jonas Valanciunas scored 25 points, and the Raptors scored the first 13 points of the fourth quarter before holding on for a victory over the Pistons.
Detroit was without injured stars Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin for its home finale, but the Pistons still led by 17 in the first half. The margin was only three, however, at halftime, and Detroit managed only 38 points over the final two quarters.
Detroit is out of playoff contention, and Toronto had already wrapped up the top seed in the Eastern Conference. The Raptors played without Fred VanVleet and Serge Ibaka.
Luke Kennard led Detroit with 20 points and Reggie Jackson scored 16 with nine assists. Langston Galloway had 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting.
NETS 114, BULLS 105
NEW YORK (AP) – Allen Crabbe scored 20 of his career-high 41 points in the first quarter and the Nets beat the Bulls for their first three-game winning streak this season.
D’Angelo Russell had 21 points and 11 assists Logan Paulsen Color Rush Jersey , and Spencer Dinwiddie scored 20 points for the Nets, who had not won three straight since April 1-4, 2017.
Former Net Sean Kilpatrick was one of seven players for the Bulls to score in double figures, tallying 16 points. Cameron Payne had 15 for Chicago, which has lost its last three games.
Brooklyn hit 18 3-pointers in its first game since falling one shy of the NBA record with 24 in a rout of Chicago on Saturday.
Crabbe celebrated his 26th birthday by going 8 of 11 from deep Monday.
TIMBERWOLVES 113, GRIZZLIES 94
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Karl-Anthony Towns slammed his way to 24 points and grabbed 18 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who toughed out a victory over the Grizzlies to move one step closer to a long-sought spot in the playoffs.
Jeff Teague added 24 points and Jimmy Butler scored 15 points for the Timberwolves, who trailed by 10 points early before taking over against a depleted Grizzlies team that beat them 101-93 exactly two weeks ago in one of their worst losses of the season. Towns had five dunks to help ignite the crowd.
Ben McLemore had 18 points for the Grizzlies, who moved one loss closer to a prime lottery pick.
The Wolves entered the evening with more than just payback on the agenda. They had the opportunity to secure their first appearance in the playoffs since Kevin Garnett was patrolling the post with Latrell Sprewell as a wing man and Sam Cassell running the offense in 2004.
BUCKS 102, MAGIC 86
MILWAUKEE (AP) – Shabazz Muhammad scored a season-high 22 points and helped spark a key third-quarter run, Eric Bledsoe had a triple-double and the Bucks beat the Magic.
The Bucks leapfrogged Miami for sixth in the Eastern Conference. The Heat lost to Oklahoma City on Monday.
Milwaukee won its second straight game without Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is resting a sore right ankle. Both victories came against 50-loss teams.
Nikola Vucevic led Orlando with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Bismark Biyombo had 14 points.
Bledsoe had 20 points Cheap Ryan Switzer Jersey , 12 rebounds and 11 assists for Milwaukee.
PELICANS 113, CLIPPERS 100
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Anthony Davis scored 28 points, Nikola Mirotic had a double-double and the Pelicans beat the Clippers to clinch their first playoff berth in three years.
Mirotic had 24 points and 16 rebounds in the Pelicans’ fourth straight victory. It will be just their second playoff appeara Tom Pennington/Getty ImagesThe Los Angeles Chargers are followed by misery. Often, it comes in soul-crushing fashion, too.聽The sort of misery that led to four losses by a field goal or less in 2016, and then three more during a four-game losing streak to begin 2017. And worse, the sort of misery that kept them from the playoffs even when they went 9-3 through the rest of 2017.The Chargers' early-season hole was a little too deep. But the bright lights of the postseason are well within reach for a team led聽offensively by wide receiver Keenan Allen and his 102 catches for 1,393 yards. And defensively by the tandem of Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram after the pass-rushing pair combined for 23 sacks in 2017.They're teetering on that playoff hump and just need a gentle nudge to roll down the other side. The Chargers' 2018 draft did so much more than that by building on an existing defensive strength and turning it into an intimidating unit capable of challenging the typical AFC powerhouses.The most important draft ingredient in that process was first-round pick Derwin James, the dynamic safety who was quickly given the customary Snoop Dogg greeting upon arrival in Los Angeles. His game film from Florida State is filled with instinctive play during which he's always hovering around the ball.Bleacher Report @BleacherReportNew man in the secondary in LA!Chargers select S Derwin James with the No. 17 pick (@RamTrucks) https://t.co/F0oEbAuvmiDays later, it's still baffling that James, one of the best overall defenders in the draft, was available for the Chargers to steal all the way down at No. 17. Bleacher Report draft expert Matt Miller had him coming off the board four picks earlier, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers way up at No. 7 were the unanimous pick among the analysts at NFL.com Giancarlo Stanton Jersey , including Mike Mayock.That James was still unclaimed in the back half of the first round was a gift. The Chargers happily pounced and added a bulked-up, swarming safety to a secondary that's already rising.James is 6'2" and 215 pounds, and at the scouting combine he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.47 seconds. That's a turf-burning time at his size, and it was only the start of James' combine dominance. He also showed off his quick-twitch athleticism with a 40-inch vertical jump and a broad jump of 132 inches.He blends size and speed with quality vision, which results in a complete package that enables him to make plays deep and near the line of scrimmage. The 21-year-old recorded 84 tackles (5.5 for a loss), two interceptions and 11 passes defensed during his final season with the Seminoles.But that only scratches the surface with James. We have to dive deeper to fully appreciate his shutdown presence.James does everything at a high level. As Eric Eager and George Chahrouri of Pro Football Focus observed, he allowed a passer rating in coverage of just 58.1 during his collegiate career. And just as impressively, he generated 38 pressures when asked to blitz.He can wreak havoc and be a disruptive force from anywhere, meaning James will slide in seamlessly to a league that's placed an increased importance on versatility among defensive backs.He has the agility to be relied on as a nickelback while shadowing shifty slot receivers or hulking tight ends. He has the ball skills to be the last line of defense as a deep safety. And he has the tackling instincts to essentially function as another linebacker.Derwin James recorded 186 tackles (15 for loss) and 5.5 sacks for Florida State.Don Juan Moore/Getty ImagesHe's the ideal multitool for Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, who has a creative mind and maximized the talents of similar players during his time in the same position with the Seattle Seahawks.Now, Bradley has the pieces in place to orchestrate a weekly defensive onslaught and make his unit one of the league's most feared. James joins a defense that stumbled early in 2017 but then allowed just 14.9 points per game from Week 5 onward. Led by cornerback Casey Hayward and his 11 interceptions over the past two seasons, the Chargers secondary ranked third in 2017 while allowing only 197.3 yards per game.In 2018, the Bolts will be suffocating passing offenses even more after plugging in James and getting cornerback Jason Verrett back from injury. It's a group that can swallow up most of the clean looks opposing quarterbacks get.Those could be exceedingly rare after the Chargers' successful draft continued in the second round when they grabbed outside linebacker Uchenna Nwosu Cheap Ryan Jensen Jersey , the USC product who exploded during his senior year for 9.5 sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss.Nwosu demonstrated one of the most important qualities in a pass-rusher: the ability to generate pressure and contribute consistently, even when he's not getting all the way home for a sack. As PFF also noted, he led the draft class in two important categories:Pro Football Focus @PFFThe Chargers add USC edge defender Uchenna Nwosu, who led the draft class in both QB hits (22) and batted passes (10) https://t.co/fCEDPqscwdNwosu also notched 61 pressures in 2017, which ranked second among draft-eligible Power Five edge-defenders. He'll bolster an already lethal pass rush that finished tied for fifth in 2017 with 43 sacks.The Chargers used the first four of their seven picks on the defensive side of the ball. That also included defensive tackle Justin Jones in the third round. He's a run-stuffer up the middle who recorded 108 tackles over three seasons for North Carolina State. With 8.5 sacks, Jones contributed as a pass-rusher, too, and penetrated the backfield to tally 22.5 tackles for loss.He could quickly develop into a rotational defender and help with the Chargers' only glaring defensive weakness: a run defense that was gashed for 131.1 yards per game in 2017 (31st).The Chargers made a strength stronger through the depth provided by Jones and the injection of athleticism both up front and in the defensive backfield with the additions of James and Nwosu. N.
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