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Minus stars, Nets secure playoff spot

(AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) Caris LeVert scored 22 points, Jarrett Allen added 17 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists and the patchwork Brooklyn Nets clinched a playoff berth by beating the Sacramento Kings 119-106 on Friday.

The surprising Nets came to the bubble without stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving but continued to display plenty of fight, improving to 3-2 since coming to Florida. Joe Harris added 21 points, shooting 8 of 11 from the field, including 5 of 7 from 3-point range.

The Nets had a 78-62 lead midway through the third quarter but Bogdan Bogdanovic responded with five quick points to spark a Kings rally. Sacramento pulled within 80-76 before Garrett Temple's 3-pointer got Brooklyn back on track.


Raptors can clinch 2nd seed vs. Celtics

The Toronto Raptors own the longest active winning streak in the NBA and can clinch the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference on Friday night when they oppose the Boston Celtics at The Arena inside the NBA bubble near Orlando.

The Raptors (49-18) will be seeking their eighth consecutive victory, and the triumph would eliminate third-place Boston (45-23) from contention for the No. 2 seed.


Grizzlies rip OKC for 1st win in bubble

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) Dillon Brooks scored 22 points, and the Memphis Grizzlies claimed their first win since the restart with a 121-92 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday.

Jonas Valanciunas had 19 points and 11 rebounds and Ja Morant had 19 points and nine assists for the Grizzlies.


White, Poelti lead Spurs over Jazz

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) Jakob Poeltl knew the Utah Jazz were going to try to take away the perimeter.

So he took advantage of the interior scoring repeatedly on pick-and-roll and interior moves.


Pelicans resting Williamson vs. Wizards

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) The New Orleans Pelicans have scratched rookie Zion Williamson from the lineup for Friday night's game against the Washington Wizards.

The team designated Friday a rest day for the NBA's top overall draft choice after he scored 24 points in 22 minutes in the Pelicans' 140-125 loss to Sacramento on Thursday.


Suns finding their stride in bubble

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) The last time Devin Booker walked off the court as a winner in four consecutive games, these were the opponents: Hampton, Cincinnati, West Virginia and Notre Dame.

That is, until now.


Lillard has 45 with 11 3s, Blazers win

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) Damian Lillard wasn't off to a great shooting start inside the NBA's so-called bubble.

If it was a slump, it seems to be over now.


Bucks top Heat to clinch East's top seed

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton scored 33 points each, and the Milwaukee Bucks overcame a huge early deficit to get a 130-116 win over the Miami Heat on Thursday to clinch the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

The Heat led by as many as 23 points in a first half where the team piled up 73 points despite playing without Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic. Miami cooled off after the break and the Bucks took the lead in the third quarter but were down by 6 to start the fourth.


Harden has 39, Rockets win as James sits

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) James Harden had 39 points and 12 assists to lead the Houston Rockets to a 113-97 victory on Thursday night over the Los Angeles Lakers, who were playing without LeBron James.

The Lakers, who clinched the top seed in the Western Conference on Monday, didn't have James because of a sore right groin.


76ers' Simmons may be out several weeks

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) Philadelphia's Ben Simmons is seeking treatment options on his injured left knee, and the 76ers are unsure the extent of the issue or how many games the All-Star could miss.

Simmons left Philadelphia's game against Washington on Wednesday midway through the third quarter because of injury, officially diagnosed as a suffered a subluxation of the left patella. A subluxation is a partial and temporary dislocation; the patella is the kneecap.

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