Thunder can clinch playoff berth on Monday with win in Miami
11 April, 2018, 17:59
The Heat (43-37) are already in the playoffs, but they are coming off a brutal 122-98 loss to the New York Knicks on Friday and, six days before that, a loss to the Brooklyn Nets in overtime. Starting guards Austin Rivers (right elbow soreness) and Lou Williams (sprained right ankle) sat out, but are likely to return for the season finale. All he cares about is doing whatever it takes to win.
Westbrook finished with 23 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists in a dynamic performance which assured the Thunder of a postseason berth and kept them in the hunt for home-court advantage in the first round.
Love, who led the Cavs scoring with 28 points and grabbed 5 rebounds, said the team was finding form at the right time.
And from there, it stayed that way. It truly put the Thunder in the driver's seat. Before long, it became a runaway. It was so impressive that nobody was able to replicate it until Westbrook last season. The other is Oscar Robertson, who did it five times. Stan Van Gundy's public reprimand of the team's effort did little to motivate on the second leg of a back-to-back.
The Spurs, Thunder and Pelicans all clinched a Western Conference playoff spot Monday leaving Wednesday's matchup between the Nuggets and Timberwolves in Minnesota as a play-in game to reach the playoffs.
The Pelicans shot 51 percent from the field and 56 percent from 3-point range in the first half.
"You want to go into the playoffs on a high note", Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade said.
"I don't think nobody thinks twice about that", Anthony added when pressed further about Westbrook's occasional thievery on the glass. Coach K was one of three accomplished college coaches at the game; Rick Pitino was also there, near Thunder coach Billy Donovan - who played guard on Providence's 1987 Final Four team (coached by Pitino), and a two-time NCAA title victor at Florida before going to Oklahoma City.