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Wild NBA final day features Wolves dysfunction, LeBron crowning himself, and Mac McClung going off

The regular season finale in the NBA tends to be a bit wonky just because 80 games are usually enough to sort out the standings; the 82 is just icing on the cake to tie things together nicely. Here’s what the play-in and playoff schedules look like following 1,230 regular season contests:

Between various players resting and contentious huddles, the 15 games on Sunday provided plenty of intrigue, starting with a Boston win that featured a 30-point triple double:

Celtics beat Hawks 120-114 behind Pritchard’s first-career triple double

Payton Pritchard led the game in scoring with 30 points on 10-21 shooting while being the only one from either side in double-digits for rebounds or assists, finishing with 14 and 11 respectively for his first-career triple double, however he also turned it over seven times, while no other player had more than two.

McClung’s near-triple double fuels Philly’s 134-105 win over first round opponent Brooklyn

Reigning dunk contest savior Mac McClung got his first real serving of minutes as a Sixer, and he wasn’t going to waste them, totaling 20 points, nine rebounds, and nine assists (just one turnover) in 33 minutes.

For the Nets, Cam Thomas hung 46 points on Philly in the loss, his first 40-point outing since three straight in February. Mikal Bridges played just four seconds before sitting the rest in an effort to keep his “games played” streak alive, which now stands at 392 regular season games plus 35 playoff games, dating back to his NBA debut in 2018. He technically played in 83 games because of the timing of the trade to Brooklyn, becoming the first to do so since Josh Smith in 2014-15.

Hornets pick up win over Cavs 106-95 behind 22 each from Williams, McGowens

Udonis Haslem shows out in (regular season) career finale, Heat beat Magic 123-110

Toppin scores 34 as Knicks fall to Pacers 136-141

Raptors top Bucks 121-105 behind Achiuwa’s 10th double double of the season in potential first round preview

Rockets pick up 114-109 win over Wizards in final game of Stephen Silas era

Jabari Smith Jr. scored 20+ points for the 12th time in his rookie campaign, but it was reported during the game that Houston head coach Stephen Silas would not be retained and his fourth-year option would not be picked up. Among the candidates to replace Silas are former head coaches like Kenny Atkinson, Ime Udoka, and Frank Vogel.

Pistons lose 81-103 to Bulls despite 26 from Hayes as Dwane Casey moves to front office

Three Spurs score 20+ as they topple in-state rival Mavs 138-117

Tempers flare but can’t derail Wolves from 113-108 win over Pelicans

Minnesota’s dysfunction in this game cannot be overstated from the Rudy Gobert fiasco to the Jaden McDaniels miscalculation, but Anthony Edwards stepped up in the name of stability to the tune of 26 points and 13 rebounds, including some clutch plays down the stretch to clinch the game and overcome 42 points and 12 rebounds from Brandon Ingram.

In OKC’s 115-100 win over Memphis, Mann’s first triple double is overshadowed by Lofton’s 42 points

Nuggets went from down 17 in the first quarter to a 14-point win over Kings

LeBron puts up 36 and crowns himself in Lakers’ 128-117 win over Jazz

Clippers A-team hangs on to beat Suns C-team 119-114 in first round preview

Because of the win, the Clippers clinched a date with these same Suns in the first round after meeting in the conference finals just two seasons ago. The series will be a little bit different this time around. Kawhi didn’t play then, he will now. Paul George did play then, it appears he won’t this time. Kevin Durant is a Sun now, Mikal Bridges isn’t.

Even playing without seven of their top 10 or so rotation pieces, Phoenix held up for most of this game, including leading for most of the first 40 minutes. Kawhi, Norm Powell, and Russell Westbrook combined for 27 points in the fourth, nearly enough to edge out Phoenix’s 28 fourth quarter points by themselves.

Warriors set records in 157-101 win over Blazers

Eyes can’t help but widen when you see a team score 157 points in an NBA game, let alone in regulation. In typical Warriors fashion, this offensive output was anything but typical. Four different Warriors scored at least 20 (none taking more than 15 shots) points while seven had a +/- of at least +20.

The 55 first-quarter points by Golden State are an NBA record (51 is the second-most, done twice, including by Warriors in 2019) as is the 56-point margin of victory. They shot 20% better than the Blazers overall and 30% better from three while winning the rebounding battle 58-30 and the assist battle 47-25.

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