Clippers, Celtics clinch playoff berths
LOS ANGELES, USA – The red-hot Los Angeles Clippers clinched an NBA playoff berth with their sixth win in a row, Danilo Gallinari scoring 25 points in a 122-111 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday, March 26 (Wednesday, March 27, Manila time).
The Clippers are back in the post-season after missing out last year, becoming the fifth Western Conference team to punch their ticket.
The Clippers' win cemented a spot that was clearly on the cards with a 45-30 record.
Lou Williams added 20 points off the bench for the Clippers, whose reserves outscored Minnesota's bench, 53-25.
This is the start. pic.twitter.com/k1251e8jtx— x - LA Clippers (@LAClippers) March 27, 2019
In the East the Boston Celtics' playoff spot was confirmed with a 116-106 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, coupled with the Detroit Pistons' 95-92 loss to the Denver Nuggets.
Al Horford and Marcus Smart came up big for the Celtics in the 4th quarter in Cleveland.
Boston was clinging to a 96-94 lead at the 6:26 mark of the final period when the veteran Celtics duo exploded, combining to outscore the Cavaliers 15-6 over the next 4 minutes and 20 seconds and putting the visitors up 111-100.
Smart delivered a dagger with 2:19 remaining, connecting on a layup and converting a free throw to put the Celtics up by 9.
Jayson Tatum and Smart fired 21 points each to lead the Celtics, who upped their record to 44-31.