NBA roundup: Spurs wrap up No. 1 seed in Western Conference

Published: Monday, April 23 2012 11:26 p.m. MDT

San Antonio Spurs' Tim Duncan, right, celebrates with teammate Kawhi Leonard (2) during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers, Monday, April 23, 2012, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 124-89, clinching the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO — Tim Duncan scored 18 points and the San Antonio Spurs clinched the top playoff spot in the Western Conference and pushed their winning streak to eight straight, beating the Portland Trail Blazers 124-89 on Monday night.

It's another No. 1 seed for the Spurs, who somehow made this sixth one in the Duncan era even more surprising than getting here last season. Two days before Duncan turns 36, the NBA's standard-bearers beat out the young Oklahoma City Thunder for ultimate home-court advantage.

Wesley Matthews had 24 points for the Trail Blazers, who lost their sixth straight.

The Spurs have two games left, and can now turn to resting their Big Three.

But this blowout let coach Gregg Popovich start the resting process early. Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili didn't play in the fourth quarter, and chances are the three-time championship trio won't play in the remaining meaningless games at Phoenix and Golden State.

San Antonio could also know its first-round opponent as early as tonight, when Phoenix plays at Utah in a game that could decide the No. 8 seed.

Danny Green also had 18 points for the Spurs, while Parker scored 13 and Stephen Jackson and Gary Neal both added 12.

The Spurs secured the top seed with a second-half surge, winning 22 of their last 25 games. Getting No. 1 wound up meaning nothing last season — Memphis knocked them out in a first-round stunner — but the Spurs are undoubtedly deeper and healthier this time around.

J.J. Hickson had 14 points and 10 rebounds for Portland. Raymond Felton scored 13 points and Jonny Flynn had 10 on a night when the injury-depleted Trail Blazers again only used nine players.

76ERS 107, NETS 87: At Newark, N.J., Philadelphia secured the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference and spoiled the Nets' final game in New Jersey.

Thaddeus Young scored all 15 of his points in the second half to help the 76ers make the postseason for the second straight year and eliminate the Milwaukee Bucks from playoff contention.

The win moved Philadelphia (34-30) into a tie with the New York Knicks for the No. 7 seed with two games remaining in the regular season.

Jrue Holiday and Elton Brand added 15 points apiece for Philadelphia.

WIZARDS 101, BOBCATS 73: At Washington, John Wall had 16 points and 14 assists, Nene scored 18 points and Jan Vesely had 16 points on 8-for-8 shooting as Washington handed Charlotte its 21st straight loss.

If Charlotte (7-57) loses its final two games, the Bobcats will finish with the worst winning percentage in NBA history.

PACERS 103, PISTONS 97: At Indianapolis, Paul George scored 12 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter for Indiana. George made 13-of-15 free throws and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Pacers. David West scored 20 points for Indiana.

GRIZZLIES 109, CAVALIERS 101: At Memphis, Tenn., Marreese Speights had 17 points and 10 rebounds and Marc Gasol also scored 17 points as Memphis won its fifth straight.

Rudy Gay scored 15 points, O.J. Mayo had 14 and Tony Allen added 13 points and a franchise-record eight steals for the Grizzlies, who won their 10th straight at home.

BUCKS 92, RAPTORS 86: At Milwaukee, the Bucks were eliminated from the NBA playoff picture despite getting 25 points from Brandon Jennings in a victory over Toronto.

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS