Spurs on the verge of playoffs, MVP-chasing Harden lifts Rockets

One loss from the Sacramento Kings and San Antonio will clinch a postseason berth.

THE SAN ANTONIO Spurs boosted their NBA playoff chances with victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers as Western Conference rivals the Sacramento Kings lost in Louisiana.

Cavaliers Spurs Basketball Spurs' DeMar DeRozan. Darren Abate Darren Abate

After San Antonio’s 116-110 win against the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Kings’ 121-118 defeat to the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday, the Spurs (44-32) are six-and-a-half games clear of Sacramento (37-38) – who have seven games remaining.

One loss from the Kings and their playoff hopes are dashed.

On the night the Spurs retired Manu Ginobili’s number, DeMar DeRozan led San Antonio with 25 points against the Cavaliers.

Collin Sexton scored 24 points for the Cavaliers, while Kevin Love added 18.

Harden lifts Rockets

James Harden scored 38 points and added six rebounds and six assists to lead the Houston Rockets past the Denver Nuggets 112-85.

Joel Embiid scored 14 of Philadelphia’s first 19 points and 39 in total to go with 13 rebounds and six assists in the 76ers’ 123-110 win over the Brooklyn Nets.

Miami Heat point guard Goran Dragic tallied his first triple-double of the season, scoring 23 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists in a 105-99 victory against the Dallas Mavericks.

Khris Middleton posted 39 points and added nine rebounds as the Milwaukee Bucks were 128-118 winners over the Los Angeles Clippers.

NBA / YouTube

New York Knicks point guard Dennis Smith Jr. had more turnovers (two) than assists (one) while shooting two of 11 from the floor and scoring seven points in a 117-92 loss to the Toronto Raptors.

The Charlotte Hornets can move within one game of a playoff spot in the east with a win on Friday. The Nets, Magic, Heat and Pistons are all off, so Charlotte make progress with a win no matter what with eight games left to play.

Thursday’s Results

  • Detroit Pistons 115-98 Orlando Magic
  • Philadelphia 76ers 123-110 Brooklyn Nets
  • Miami Heat 105-99 Dallas Mavericks
  • Toronto Raptors 117-92 New York Knicks
  • New Orleans Pelicans 121-118 Sacramento Kings
  • Milwaukee Bucks 128-118 Los Angeles Clippers
  • Houston Rockets 112-85 Denver Nuggets
  • San Antonio Spurs 116-110 Cleveland Cavaliers

Murray Kinsella and Bernard Jackman look ahead to a huge weekend for the provinces in Europe and Ryan Bailey catches up with Ian Keatley on the latest episode of The42 Rugby Weekly:

The42 Rugby Weekly / SoundCloud

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