Three results from Wednesday had the race for the eighth seed in the West get even tighter. Now, the six teams are separated by just 3.5 games. The Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers were the other key winners in the standings after their wins on Wednesday.
Find out below the impact each game from Wednesday had on the playoff picture and the NBA standings:
Brooklyn Nets 119, Milwaukee Bucks 116
Led by Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, who scored a game-high 26 points, the Nets upset the Bucks to record their second straight win in Orlando.
Giannis Antetokounmpo played on 15 minutes in the loss, finishing with 16 points, six rebounds and four assists. Khris Middleton played limited minutes as well, scoring eight points in his 15 minutes on the court.
💦💦💦 @timcabs 💦💦💦 pic.twitter.com/9eP1um7gyf- Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) August 4, 2020
What it means: With the win and the Orlando Magic's loss, later in the day, the Nets jumped ahead as the sole owners of the seventh seed in the East and hold a 0.5 game lead. The Bucks, meanwhile, still need one more win to clinch the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Dallas Mavericks 114, Sacramento Kings 110 [OT]
After two narrow losses in their opening seeding games, the Dallas Mavericks needed an overtime session against the Kings to pick up their first win in Orlando.
It came on the back of a huge and historic triple-double by their All-Star Luka Doncic.
▪️ 34 points, 12 assists- NBA (@NBA) August 4, 2020
▪️ Career-high 20 rebounds
▪️ NBA leading 16th triple-double@luka7doncic ERUPTS in the @dallasmavs OT win. #WholeNewGame pic.twitter.com/HAZVL4Vfrp
"We needed that," Doncic said. "We played, I think, one of the worst games ever and we won. We didn't play good. We still hang in there, help each other, never give up. I'm proud of the win."
Doncic was supported by the duo of Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr., who finished with 22 points apiece. Meanwhile, for the Kings, De'Aaron Fox was the star with his 28 points and nine assists
What it means: Before this game, the Mavericks had already clinched their first playoff spot since 2016 when the Memphis Grizzlies lost to the New Orleans Pelicans a day earlier. So, this game was more about them finally getting in the win column, more than anything else. For the Kings, however, this loss was huge. They have now gone 0-3 in Orlando, and have slipped to 13th in the West, last among the teams contending for the eighth spot - 3.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies.
Phoenix Suns 117, LA Clippers 115
Coming into the Orlando bubble, the Suns needed to win nearly all their games to seriously contend for the play-in situation in the Western Conference. Well, so far so good.
Devin Booker's clutch game-winning jumper over Paul George took the Suns to a 3-0 record in the season restart. He finished the game with 35 points while also dishing out eight assists on an efficient 13-of-25 shooting from the field.
Another 👀 at @DevinBook's GAME-WINNING #TissotBuzzerBeater!#ThisIsYourTime#RisePHX #WholeNewGame pic.twitter.com/rMfGTz9W2E- NBA (@NBA) August 4, 2020
Four other Suns finished in double figures, led by 19 from center Deandre Ayton.
The Clippers, on the other hand, managed just eight 3-pointers in the loss after knocking down a franchise record 25 against the New Orleans Pelicans. Kawhi Leonard was the team's top-scorer with 27.
What it means: Simple. The Suns stay alive in the race for the eighth spot. 3-0 in the bubble has the Suns just three games behind the Grizzlies. On the other hand, this loss leaves the Clippers' with just a one-game lead for the second-seed over the Denver Nuggets.
Indiana Pacers 120, Orlando Magic 109
The Pacers have played three games so far in the bubble and T.J. Warren hasn't cooled off yet. He started off on fire in this one, scoring 17 in the first quarter and helping the Pacers outscore the Magic 43-28. From there, Warren didn't look back...nor did the Pacers.
T.J. Warren's last 3 games:- NBA (@NBA) August 5, 2020
🔥 53 PTS, 9 3PM (career-highs)
🔥 34 PTS, 11 REB, 3 STL, 4 BLK (career-high)
🔥 32 PTS, 13-17 FGM@TonyWarrenJr ties Jermaine O'Neal for the most PTS over a 3-game span in @Pacers history! #IndianaStyle pic.twitter.com/cQU0QaJQbv
The team rode that first quarter momentum to what was, in the end, an easy win.
What it means: The Pacers' 3-0 start has them just a game behind the fourth seed and just 2.5 out of the third seed. Meanwhile, the loss for the Magic dropped them to the eighth seed in the East. However, they are still quite comfortably placed in comparison to the Wizards - a 7.5 game lead.
Miami Heat 112, Boston Celtics 106
No Jimmy Butler, no problem.
The Heat, who led by as many as 16 in this game, took care of business by committee. Five players scored in double figures including Goran Dragic's 20 points off the bench.
🔥 @Bam1of1 (21 PTS, 12 REB) and @D_Bo20 (21 PTS, 5 3PM lead @MiamiHEAT to within 1.5 games of Boston for the #3 seed out East! #WholeNewGame pic.twitter.com/EXj3XsiKkd- NBA (@NBA) August 5, 2020
On the flip side, nobody except Tatum (23 points, 6-11 FGs) really caught fire for the Celtics. Marcus Smart got fouled out after 16 minutes while Gordon Hayward and Jaylen Brown combined for 33 points on 14-of-36 shooting from the field.
What it means: The Celtics had already won this season series but this impressive win for the Heat takes them within 1.5 games of the Celtics for the third seed.
Portland Trail Blazers 110, Houston Rockets 102
Five Blazers finished in double figures as they clinched a much-needed win, thus, handing the Rockets their first loss of the season restart. Jusuf Nurkic was the biggest contributor with 18 points, 19 rebounds, three assists, and three blocks.
Portland's backcourt leads the way! #RipCity #WholeNewGame @Dame_Lillard: 21 PTS, 9 REB, 8 AST@CJMcCollum: 20 PTS, 7 REB, 5 AST pic.twitter.com/S4MYcfOiSy- NBA (@NBA) August 5, 2020
More importantly, they held the Rockets former MVP duo of James Harden and Russell Westbrook to just 38 points on 12-of-31 shooting from the field.
What it means: With the Jazz and the Thunder also suffering losses, the Rockets remain in the West's fourth seed despite dropping this one. Meanwhile, the Trail Blazers make serious ground on the Grizzlies, who have started 0-3 in the Orlando bubble, for the eighth seed. Now, they are just 2.0 games behind Memphis.
|1||x - Milwaukee Bucks||54||14||-||1||x - Los Angeles Lakers||51||15||-|
|2||x - Toronto Raptors||48||18||5||2||x - LA Clippers||45||22||6.5|
|3||x - Boston Celtics||44||23||9.5||3||x - Denver Nuggets||44||23||7.5|
|4||x - Miami Heat||43||25||11||4||x - Houston Rockets||42||25||9.5|
|5||x - Indiana Pacers||42||26||12||5||x - Utah Jazz||42||25||9.5|
|6||x - Philadelphia 76ers||40||27||13.5||6||x - Oklahoma City Thunder||41||25||10|
|7||Brooklyn Nets||32||35||21.5||7||x - Dallas Mavericks||41||29||12|
|8||Orlando Magic||32||36||22||8||Memphis Grizzlies||32||36||20|
|9||Washington Wizards||24||43||29.5||9||Portland Trail Blazers||31||38||21.5|
|10||San Antonio Spurs||29||37||22|
|11||New Orleans Pelicans||29||38||22.5|
x - Clinched Playoffs Berth
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