OKLAHOMA CITY — Kevin Durant scored 42 points, including 21 in the fourth quarter, and the Oklahoma City Thunder secured the No. 2 playoff seed in the Western Conference after beating the Detroit Pistons 112-111 Wednesday night.
Oklahoma City (59-23) had lost two straight to put itself in the must-win situation in the regular-season finale to earn the No. 2 seed.
Durant rallied the Thunder from 10 points down in the fourth quarter while recording his 14th 40-point game of the season.
He drove for the go-ahead dunk with 16.5 seconds left, and after a scramble for a loose ball resulted in a jump ball in Detroit’s end with 1.8 seconds left, he won a tip over Greg Monroe. Detroit’s Brandon Jennings managed a 30-foot heave at the buzzer that banged off the rim.
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Russell Westbrook scored 22 points for Oklahoma City, which will play Memphis in the first round of the playoffs.
MILWAUKEE — Bucks owner Herb Kohl was well past retirement age and realized it was time to secure the future of the franchise. He had one big caveat for any potential investors: Keep the team in his hometown of Milwaukee.
And he found a buyer.
The former U.S. senator is banking on New York investment firm executives Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens to follow through after agreeing to sell them the Bucks for about $550 million. The deal is subject to approval by the NBA and its board of governors.
• Will Barton had a career-high 23 points and 10 rebounds as the host Portland Trail Blazers downed the Los Angeles Clippers 110-104 with both teams resting key players in advance of the playoffs. Jamal Crawford from Rainier Beach High School had 34 points for the Clippers.
• Bradley Beal scored 27 points and Washington clinched the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference with a 118-102 win over the host Boston Celtics.
• Brooklyn coach Jason Kidd sat his starters for the playoffs and the Nets closed the regular season with a 114-85 loss at Cleveland that dropped them to the No. 6 seed in the East.
• Mike Conley hit two free throws with 1.1 seconds left in overtime as the Memphis Grizzlies grabbed the Western Conference’s No. 7 seed away from Dallas with a 106-105 win.
• Jordan Hill had 18 points and 14 rebounds and the Lakers (27-55) closed their worst season since they moved to Los Angeles with a 113-100 victory over host San Antonio.
• Trey Burke scored a career-high 32 points as the Jazz (25-57) avoided its worst record since moving to Utah 35 years ago with a 136-130 victory over host Minnesota in two overtimes.
|NBA playoff pairings|
|(seeds in parentheses)|
|(1) San Antonio vs.||(8) Dallas|
|(2) Oklahoma City vs.||(7) Memphis|
|(3) L.A. Clippers vs.||(6) Golden State|
|(4) Houston vs.||(5) Portland|
|(1) Indiana vs.||(8) Atlanta|
|(2) Miami vs.||(7) Charlotte|
|(3) Toronto vs.||(6) Brooklyn|
|(4) Chicago vs.||(5) Washington|