Warriors earn top seed in West

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Stephen Curry
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) celebrates after making a three-point basket against the LA Clippers during the first quarter at Oracle Arena. -- KYLE TERADA-USA TODAY SPORTS

LOS ANGELES — The Golden State Warriors celebrated their final regular-season game in Oracle Arena with a third-quarter explosion Sunday night, producing a 131-104 win over the Los Angeles Clippers in Oakland, Calif., that clinched top seeding throughout the Western Conference playoffs.

The win was Golden State’s fifth in a row and 30th of the season at home. The Warriors’ first-round opponent, which will be the eighth seed in the West, has yet to be determined. The playoffs begin next Saturday.

The Clippers’ third straight loss dropped them to 47-34 and closer to a first-round matchup with the Warriors. The Clippers are battling Oklahoma City (47-33) and San Antonio (47-34), both of which won Sunday, for the sixth, seventh and eighth playoff spots in the West.

Curry finished with a game-high 27 points for the Warriors, who improved their all-time regular-season record at Oracle Arena to 1,166-770. Like the Warriors, all five Clippers starters scored in double figures, led by Landry Shamet with 17. All but two of Shamet’s points came on 5-for-6 3-point shooting.

Damian Lillard scored 30 points, and Al-Farouq Aminu added a season-high 23 points and 11 rebounds as Portland rallied for a victory over visiting Denver.

The Trail Blazers closed the game on a 17-3 run to register their ninth win in the last 11 games. CJ McCollum made his return to the Portland lineup after missing 10 games with a knee injury. McCollum collected nine points, six rebounds and six assists in 25 minutes.

Gary Harris scored 18 points to lead Denver, which won the season series with Portland 3-1. The Nuggets played without center Nikola Jokic, forward Paul Millsap and guard Jamal Murray, all given the night off for rest. They need to win their final two games, or get one win and a Rockets loss in their finale at the Thunder, to secure the West’s No. 2 seed.

BUCKS 115, HAWKS 107
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 30 points with nine rebounds, and Khris Middleton added 21 as Milwaukee recorded its first 60-victory season since 1980-81 in beating visiting Atlanta.

Antetokounmpo, who is now six points away from 2,000 for the second consecutive season, was back on the court for the Eastern Conference champions after missing Saturday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets because of a sore left calf.

Alex Len scored a career-high 33 points for the Hawks, who were playing without starters John Collins (ankle) and Trae Young (wrist). DeAndre’ Bembry added 13 points for Atlanta, which already has been eliminated from playoff contention.

D’Angelo Russell scored 20 points, and Brooklyn clinched its first playoff berth since 2015 by leading most of the way in a win over host Indiana.

The Nets clinched at least the seventh seed after the Detroit Pistons lost to the Charlotte Hornets earlier Sunday, and could have secured the No. 6 seed if Orlando had lost its game at Boston later on Sunday. Russell shot 7-for-15 and made a 3-pointer for the 60th straight game.

The Pacers lost for the ninth time in 12 games and officially are locked into the fifth seed. Even if Indiana and Boston finish tied, the Celtics own the head-to-head tiebreaker. Domantas Sabonis led Indiana with 17 points and Thaddeus Young — who was a starting forward in 2015 for the Nets — added 16.

Orlando clinched its first postseason berth in seven years with a road win against Boston, ended the Magic’s longest playoff drought in franchise history

Terrence Ross scored 14 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter, and Nikola Vucevic had 25 points and 12 rebounds for the Magic, who were perfect (22-for-22) from the free-throw line. The Magic are tied with Brooklyn for the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference with one game left in the regular season.

Kyrie Irving led the Celtics with 23 points, and Al Horford added 18.

Danny Green scored 21 points — including seven in overtime — as Toronto defeated visiting Miami, sweeping the four-game season series.

Miami’s playoff hopes were severely damaged by the loss. The Heat are now one game behind the Pistons — and tied with the Hornets — in the race for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.

Pascal Siakam added 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Norman Powell also had 23 points off the bench for the Raptors. Dwyane Wade scored 21 points for the Heat, who have lost four in a row.

Kemba Walker scored 31 points, Frank Kaminsky added a season-high 24 and Charlotte kept its playoff hopes alive in beating host Detroit for its third straight win, clinching a four-game sweep of the season series.

The Hornets (38-42) moved into ninth place in the Eastern Conference playoff race and are one game behind the No. 8 Pistons (39-41). Charlotte holds the tiebreaker edge over both the Heat and the Pistons.

Walker added eight rebounds and seven assists and the Hornets also got 17 points from Jeremy Lamb. Detroit has now lost four straight. — Reuters