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.
Most Read Stories
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|