NBA wrap: Denver Nuggets clinch playoff spot with win over Celtics

The Denver Nuggets (47-22) become the second Western Conference team to secure a 2018-19 NBA playoff place after beating the Boston Celtics.

Nikola Jokic scored 21 points as Denver Nuggets beat Boston Celtics and booked a playoff spot.   -  AFP

Denver Nuggets clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2012-13 with a 114-105 victory over Boston Celtics on Monday.

Denver (47-22) is just the second Western Conference team to secure a place in the postseason in 2018-19 after Golden State Warriors is the other.

The Nuggets had plenty of scoring, as seven of their players reached double-digits in points. Nikola Jokic led the pack with 21 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists on the night.

 

On the other side, Kyrie Irving poured in a game-high 30 points.

Denver extended its winning streak to four games with the victory. Boston had won two straight, but will have to start over against the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday.

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George top scores in defeat

Paul George tallied 31 points and nine rebounds in the Oklahoma City Thunder's 116-107 loss to the Miami Heat.

On the same night veteran teammate Drik Nowitzki climbed to 6th on the all-time scoring list, rookie Luka Doncic scored a game-high 29 points and recorded a fifth triple-double of the season (the most by a Mavericks rookie), but Dallas Mavericks went down 129-125 to New Orleans Pelicans.

 

Stephen Curry accumulated 25 points, seven rebounds and eight assists as Golden State lost to the San Antonio Spurs, 111-105.

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Collin Sexton scored a game-high 27 points to help his Cleveland Cavaliers take down the Detroit Pistons, 126-119.

 

Hezonja off target in Raptor loss

Mario Hezonja scored eight points on 3-of-10 shooting in the New York Knicks' 128-92 loss to the Toronto Raptors.

Ingles, Nurkic with big plays

Joe Ingles nailed this step back jumper in the Utah Jazz's 116-95 victory over the Washington Wizards.

 

Jusuf Nurkic climbed the ladder in the Portland Trail Blazer's 69-60 win against the Indiana Pacers.

 

What's Next?

Brooklyn Nets (36-36) at Sacramento Kings (34-35) 10 p.m. ET — Brooklyn and Sacramento are two of the NBA's most exciting young teams. The Nets are in the playoff picture, while the Kings will have to fight to make the postseason in the West. Regardless of the standings, these squads will both bring plenty of intensity on Tuesday.