NBA playoff race: What happened on Wednesday night

The last night of the regular season is over, and playoff spots and seeds have been set.

What happened on Wednesday night as the season comes to an end? What are the playoff matchups? Here's a look at how it all went down.

The Western Conference playoff matchups are set, even if the seeding is not. 1 Rockets vs. 8 Timberwolves 2 Warriors vs. 7 Spurs The winner of the Blazers-Jazz game will claim the 3 seed, but regardless of the outcome of that game, Portland will face New Orleans and Utah will face OKC in the first round.

Adam Reisinger, ESPN.com2y ago

The Eastern Conference first-round matchups are set: 1 Raptors vs 8 Wizards 2 Celtics vs 7 Bucks 3 Sixers vs 6 Heat 4 Cavs vs 5 Pacers

Adam Reisinger, ESPN.com2y ago

Eastern Conference update: the Knicks, Raptors, and Magic lead at halftime, while the Sixers are routing the Bucks late in the first half. If those scores hold, the first-round matchups would be Raptors-Wizards, Celtics-Heat, 76ers-Bucks, and Cavs-Pacers.

Adam Reisinger, ESPN.com2y ago

Western Conference update: the Wolves lead the Nuggets in the battle for the final playoff spot, while the Pelicans lead the Spurs and the Thunder lead the Grizzlies. If those results hold, the Pelicans would be the 5 seed, the Thunder would be 6, the Spurs would be 7, and the Wolves would be 8. Utah and Portland meet later tonight to determine the 3 and 4 seeds.

Adam Reisinger, ESPN.com2y ago

New York Knicks 110, Cleveland Cavaliers 98

  • BPI favorite: Cavs (76.7 percent)

  • What happened: The Cavs needed a win and a Philly loss to the Bucks to get the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference. That didn't happen despite LeBron James playing in his 82nd game of the regular season, so the Cavaliers will see the Indiana Pacers in a rematch of the 2017 quarterfinals.

The Knicks, up 17 with two minutes to play, will finish with the 9th-worst record in the NBA. If they'd lost tonight, NYK would have finished tied with Nets for the 8th-worst record. The tie would have been broken by a drawing conducted by the NBA. Now, New York has an 81 percent chance of finishing 9th in the Lottery, a 12 percent chance of finishing 10th and a 6.1 percent chance of finishing with a Top-3 pick.

Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer2y ago

Toronto Raptors 109, Miami Heat 116 (OT)

  • BPI favorite: Raptors (71.9 percent)

  • What happened: The Heat got 32 points from Wayne Ellington off the bench and came back from an 11-point deficit, denying Toronto their first 60-win season. Since they own the tiebreaker over the Bucks, Miami gets No. 6 with a victory, combined with Milwaukee's loss to the Sixers.

Washington Wizards 92, Orlando Magic 101

  • BPI favorite: Wizards (57.1 percent)

  • What happened: The Wizards will be the 8th seed in the East. But Washington split the season series against top seed Toronto, and they swept them in the 2015 quarterfinals.

Milwaukee Bucks 95, Philadelphia 76ers 130

  • BPI favorite: 76ers (68.8 percent)

  • What happened: Philadelphia enters the postseason on a 16-game win streak, earning the No. 3 seed in the process. Milwaukee's situation is more complicated. The Bucks might have wanted to finish No. 7, meaning they'd get the injury-depleted Celtics in Round 1. That is precisely what happened.

Philly on pace to score 184 points tonight ! Bucks look gassed despite rest. Just no defense.

Michele Steele, ESPN Reporter2y ago

Denver Nuggets 106, Minnesota Timberwolves 112 (OT)

  • BPI favorite: Wolves (65.2 percent)

  • What happened: For the first time in 14 years, Minnesota will participate in the postseason. The Timberwolves now owe the Hawks a lottery-protected first-round pick, so two teams are happy.

Timberwolves beat Nuggets in OT to end 14-year playoff drought

It is loud inside Target Center early. The sellout crowd in into it. It will be interesting to see how young T'Wolves deal with early emotion. This franchise wants its first playoff berth in 14 years.

Nick Friedell, ESPN Staff Writer2y ago

Timberwolves have some momentum and the crowd is rocking here in Minneapolis. Karl-Anthony Towns has 14 points and is imposing his will at the rim right now. Jimmy Butler has eight points and it appears Thibs is going to widen his minutes "guideline" with Butler a little tonight. Timberwolves have found a rhythm in last few minutes because of their ability to get out and move on the break.

Nick Friedell, ESPN Staff Writer2y ago

Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns each have 16 points as the Timberwolves lead the Nuggets 62-54 at the half. The T'Wolves have had a lot of success getting the ball down low β€” they are out-scoring the Nuggets 36-24 in the paint. Two keys to watch in the second half: How long will Thibs roll with Butler β€” who remains on a minutes limit after knee surgery? Will Towns' game change at all in final 24 minutes now that he has three fouls?

Nick Friedell, ESPN Staff Writer2y ago

No matter how this game ends up for the Nuggets they have to ecstatic about their future with Nikola Jokic. He has risen to the occasion on the biggest stage the regular season can offer. He has 30 points and has played within himself throughout the night. He has been a calming presence for the rest of the young group.

Nick Friedell, ESPN Staff Writer2y ago

San Antonio Spurs 98, New Orleans Pelicans 122

  • BPI favorite: Pelicans (52.5 percent)

  • What happened: San Antonio drops to the 7th seed, where they will meet the Warriors in a rematch of the 2017 Western Conference Finals. The Pelicans will face the Trail Blazers as the No. 6 seed.

Spurs being outscored 24-18 in the paint and 7-2 on the break, but bench is doing its part. SA's reserves are outscoring New Orleans' backups 22-7, led by Tony Parker (6 points), Manu Ginobili (6 points) and Rudy Gay. With the playoffs approaching, it does finally seem like the Spurs have learned to play without star forward Kawhi Leonard. So that could be big once the Western Conference postseason begins.

2y ago

Amazing to think that the Spurs haven't won a road game since February 25. If the Spurs drop this one in New Orleans, they will have lost 8 consecutive road games, and 11 out of their last 13 outside the friendly confines of the AT&T Center. San Antonio will have to start out on the road against a high seed in the postseason, which is a scary prospect given this team's road woes. The last time the Spurs dropped eight straight on the road was 1997.

2y ago

Memphis Grizzlies 123, Oklahoma City Thunder 137

  • BPI favorite: Thunder (85.4 percent)

  • What happened: The Thunder got 20 rebounds from Russell Westbrook in an easy win, ensuring that Westbrook fnishes the season with back-to-back triple-double averages for the season. A Jazz loss puts the Thunder at No. 4.

Not a good thing for the Thunder: Corey Brewer was fouled on a corner 3, but came down awkwardly as Mario Chalmers fell underneath him. Brewer went down holding his right knee and needed help leaving the floor to the locker room. Brewer was of course signed after the Thunder lost their starting shooting guard Andre Roberson to a knee injury.

Royce Young, ESPN Staff Writer2y ago

Utah Jazz 93, Portland Trail Blazers 102

  • BPI favorite: Blazers (58.1 percent)

  • What happened: Portland gets the No. 3 seed, and will host New Orleans. The Jazz are No. 5 and will travel to Oklahoma City for Game 1.

With New Orleans and Oklahoma City winning, the Portland Trail Blazers and Utah Jazz know who they will play in the first round of the playoffs, but not their seeds. The Blazers will host New Orleans but can still affect a possible second-round matchup by securing the third seed instead of fourth with a loss. Meanwhile, the Jazz will play the Thunder, with home court in that series determined by whether Utah wins tonight in Portland. The Northwest Division title will also be on the line tonight.

Kevin Pelton, ESPN Senior Writer2y ago

Portland clamped down on Rookie of the Year contender Donovan Mitchell in the first quarter. The Jazz guard missed all six shot attempts and his team shot just 33.3 percent as the Blazers opened up a 28-21 lead with the third seed on the line.

Kevin Pelton, ESPN Senior Writer2y ago

2018 NBA quarterfinals matchups

Here's how the first round shapes up in each conference with the regular season in the books.

Western Conference

  • (1) Rockets vs. (8) Timberwolves

  • (2) Warriors vs. (7) Spurs

  • (3) Trail Blazers vs. (6) Pelicans

  • (4) Thunder vs. (5) Jazz

Eastern Conference

  • (1) Raptors vs. (8) Wizards

  • (2) Celtics vs. (7) Bucks

  • (3) 76ers vs. (6) Heat

  • (4) Cavaliers vs. (5) Pacers

Tuesday's results

Philadelphia 76ers 121, Atlanta Hawks 113

  • BPI favorite: 76ers (69.9 percent)

  • What happened: The Sixers won their 15th consecutive game and inched closer to claiming the No. 3 seed, as a win against the Bucks on Wednesday would seal their position.

Washington Wizards 113, Boston Celtics 101

  • BPI favorite: Wizards (55.0 percent)

  • What happened: The Nos. 6-8 seeds are still a toss-up among Washington, Miami and Milwaukee ... and it's a little complicated. With the win, the Wizards temporarily prevented themselves from dropping to No. 8 and facing the Raptors in the first round.

Utah Jazz 119, Golden State Warriors 79

  • BPI favorite: Warriors (50.6 percent)

  • What happened: After embarrassing the Warriors with the largest loss in the Steve Kerr era, the Jazz will turn their attention to Wednesday's matchup with the Trail Blazers, which will determine the No. 3 seed.