The NBA's seeding game schedule is nearing its completion, but there was still plenty to play for on Thursday as teams continued to jostle for final seedings.
Following wins from the Pacers, Raptors, Thunder, and Clippers, several matchups for the first round of the playoffs were locked in.
Here's how the standings were impacted from Thursday's four-game slate:
Indiana Pacers 108, Houston Rockets 104
Despite Missing T.J. Warren (sore right foot) and Malcolm Brogdon (sore neck), the Pacers pulled away late to secure a narrow win over the Rockets.
Justin Holiday and Myles Turner led the Pacers with 18 points apiece, while Victor Oladipo added 16.
It was a tough shooting night for the Rockets, who were without Russell Westbrook as they connected on 37 percent from the field (32-of-86) and just 16-of-57 from the 3-point line.
James Harden accounted for nearly half of the Rockets' total, going off for 45 points, a career-high 17 rebounds, nine assists, and three steals on 13-of-21 shooting and 7-of-14 from beyond the arc.
Make that 43PTS for @JHarden13 7/13 3PT shooting. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/EBgxxI8aXN- Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) August 12, 2020
What it means: The Pacers have clinched a top 5 seed in the East and will meet the Miami Heat in the first round, while the Rockets are locked into a first-round series against the OKC Thunder.
Toronto Raptors 125, Philadelphia 76ers 121
The Toronto Raptors improve to a 6-1 record in the Orlando bubble after rallying late to edge the 76ers.
They trailed by seven points with less than three minutes remaining, before closing the game on a 17-6 run, capped off by Stanley Johnson's putback with 4.9 seconds remaining to put them in front for good.
Kyle Lowry and Chris Boucher led six players in double figures with 19 points apiece.
HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE THIS TEAM pic.twitter.com/mBHW1caW6x- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) August 13, 2020
After Joel Embiid exited the game in the first half, requiring an X-ray on his right hand, which came back negative, Tobias Harris led the 76ers with 22 points, while Furkan Korkmaz added 21 off the bench.
Speaking of benches, both teams were having plenty of fun on the sidelines cheering on their squads!
Raptors and Sixers benches were going at it tonight 😂 pic.twitter.com/QI4hziedO3- NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) August 13, 2020
What it means: The 76ers' loss, coupled with the Pacers' win, means they're now locked into the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference, setting up a first-round date with the third-seed Boston Celtics.
Oklahoma City Thunder 116, Miami Heat 115
The comeback kings of the NBA have done it again!
The Thunder trailed by 22 points early in the fourth quarter, before roaring home down the stretch, completing the comeback thanks to back-to-back triples from Mike Muscala.
Thunder take the lead on this 3 from Mike Muscala. pic.twitter.com/wFn5o2oZys- OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) August 13, 2020
OKC outscored the Heat 34-15 in the final frame, with their young stars shining on the night - Darius Bazley led them in scoring with 21 points and nine rebounds while Shai Glgeous-Alexander added 18 points.
Tyler Herro scored a game-high 30 points for the Heat, becoming the 10th rookie in franchise history to record a 30-point game.
What it means: The Thunder climb to the fifth seed to set up a first-round series against the Rockets, while the Heat are now tied with the Pacers record (44-21) and will face them in the first round. Before the playoffs begin, they will meet in the final seeding game.
LA Clippers 124, Denver Nuggets 111
The Clippers' trio of Paul George (27 points), Kawhi Leonard (26), and Lou Williams (23) carried their offence as they locked up the no.2 seed in the Western Conference.
In what was a close game through three quarters, the Nuggets rested their starters in the fourth quarter and were outscored 34-19.
Fake, take, and readjust in mid-air.@FoxSportsWest | @TeamLou23 pic.twitter.com/ZkhwLD66MS- LA Clippers (@LAClippers) August 13, 2020
Jerami Grant led the Nuggets with 25 points, while Nikola Jokic filled it up with 17 points, 13 assists, and seven rebounds in 29 minutes of action.
What it means: The Clippers pull away from the Nuggets in the standings and secure the no.2 seed, setting up a first-round series against the Dallas Mavericks, while the Nuggets will take on the sixth-seed Utah Jazz in the first round.
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