A big win for Indiana over the Miami Heat helped the Pacers clinch the higher seed for the two teams’ first-round meeting as the NBA’s seeding games drew to a close.
Doug McDermott led the way for Indiana, scoring 23 to guide the Pacers to a dominant 109-92 victory.
Miami failed to match Indiana’s intensity from the opening tip-off, quickly giving up a 28-13 first quarter deficit.
A 23-point effort from Kendrick Nunn ultimately was not enough to get the Heat back in the game, leaving Indiana to take the higher spot for when they meet each other again in the first round of the Eastern Conference play-offs.
The Philadelphia 76ers received a much-needed boost heading into their opening-round series against the Boston Celtics thanks to a 134-96 win over the Houston Rockets.
With play-off positions already decided, there was little on the line for both teams, leading to minutes restrictions for key players Joel Embiid and James Harden.
However, after racking up three straight losses on the back of a season-ending injury to Ben Simmons, a dominant performance was exactly what Philadelphia needed.
Tobias Harris scored 18 points, while Harden finished with 27 in just 26 minutes on the court.
The unheralded duo of Stanley Johnson and Paul Watson stepped up to the plate for Toronto in the Raptors’ eight-point win over the Denver Nuggets.
Minutes restrictions were again in effect for both teams as Johnson and Watson combined for 45 points in the 117-109 victory.
And in the day’s final game, the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 107-103 in overtime, with a bulk of both teams’ key rotation players sitting out.