Celtics likely to play-in tournament


Yahoo Sports will keep you updated nightly on the NBA playoff race during the last two weeks of the regular season. Check back daily for the latest movement in the standings, what to watch for and teams securing their 2020-21 playoff berths.

Sunday’s standings

Eastern Conference

1. Philadelphia 76ers (47-21)

2. Brooklyn Nets (44-24, 3 GB)

3. Milwaukee Bucks (43-24, 3.5 GB)

4. New York Knicks (38-30, 9 GB)

5. Atlanta Hawks (37-31, 10 GB)

6. Miami Heat (37-31, 10 GB)

Play-in tournament

7. Boston Celtics (35-33, 12 GB)

8. Charlotte Hornets (33-35, 14 GB)

9. Washington Wizards (32-36, 15 GB)

10. Indiana Pacers (31-36, 15.5 GB)

On the playoff bubble

11. Chicago Bulls (29-39, 18 GB)

12. Toronto Raptors (27-41, 20 GB)

Western Conference

1. Utah Jazz (50-18)

2. Phoenix Suns (48-20, 2 GB)

3. Los Angeles Clippers (45-23, 5 GB)

4. Denver Nuggets (44-24, 6 GB)

5. Dallas Mavericks (40-28, 10 GB)

6. Portland Trail Blazers (39-29, 11 GB)

Play-in tournament

7. Los Angeles Lakers (38-30, 12 GB)

8. Golden State Warriors (35-33, 15 GB)

9. Memphis Grizzlies (34-33, 15.5 GB)

10. San Antonio Spurs (32-35, 17.5 GB)

On the playoff bubble

11. New Orleans Pelicans (31-37, 19 GB)

12. Sacramento Kings (30-38, 20 GB)

Game of the night: Celtics heading straight toward play-in

The Boston Celtics are in a bit of trouble. The Celtics again got into a 20-point deficit and lost their third game in the last four, 130-124 to the Miami Heat. It was the 13th time this season the Celtics have trailed by 20 points or more, according to ESPN.

Boston is in seventh in the Eastern Conference with a rematch against Miami looming on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET, TNT). Unless the Celtics can figure things out, the play-in tournament looks likely. 

After Sunday’s games, the play-in matchups in the East would be No. 7 Boston vs. No. 8 Charlotte and No. 9 Washington vs. No. 10 Indiana.

The Heat, meanwhile, are sixth in the East, two games ahead of the Celtics and out of the play-in tournament.

Miami Heat’s Jimmy Butler scored 26 points and dished 11 assists in a win over the Boston Celtics on May 9, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Performance of the night: AD is back!

Story continues

Anthony Davis made up for the lack of LeBron James … and Dennis Schroder … and Kyle Kuzma. 

Davis scored a season-high 42 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and filled out the stat sheet with five assists, three steals and three blocks in a wire-to-wire Los Angeles Lakers win over the second-place Phoenix Suns. 

The win moved the Lakers within one game of Portland in sixth. The Lakers would love to avoid the play-in tournament and get their full complement of stars healthy before the first round of the playoffs begin.

As for a potential all-L.A. first round? 

What to watch Monday

Washington at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m. ET

Yes, there are postseason implications in this game. The main draw here is history in the making.

Russell Westbrook tied Oscar Robertson’s career triple-double record at 181 on Saturday. Westbrook had another absurd stat line — 33 points, 19 rebounds and 15 assists — in a win over the Indiana Pacers. It was his 35th triple-double this season. 

Westbrook gets his first chance to break the record on Monday. Should he fall short, he’ll get another shot on Wednesday (also against the Hawks), Friday vs. Cleveland and Sunday vs. Charlotte. 

One last thing

There will be no scoreboard watching during the regular-season finales on May 16. Every game played will be in an afternoon time slot, The Athletic and Stadium’s Shams Charania reported.

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