Vince Carter had 24 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, and the New Jersey Nets beat Chicago 106-97 on Wednesday, costing the Bulls the No. 2 seed in the NBA's Eastern Conference playoffs.
Mikki Moore had 22 points and Jason Kidd added 11 assists and 11 rebounds as the Nets clinched the No. 6 seed in the East and dropped the Bulls to No. 5, where they face a tough matchup with the defending champion Miami Heat.
The Cleveland Cavaliers were the beneficiary of only the Bulls' third loss in 13 games. They get the No. 2 spot and will face Washington in the opening round. New Jersey will face the Atlantic Division champion Toronto Raptors.
Cavaliers 109, Bucks 96
At Cleveland, LeBron James scored 24 points and capped a decisive run to open the fourth quarter with one of his powerhouse dunks, sending Cleveland over Milwaukee in its regular-season finale.
The Cavaliers pulled away by outscoring the Bucks 12-3 to open the final period, giving Cleveland its second straight 50-win season and more momentum heading into this weekend's NBA playoffs.
They left the confetti-littered floor of Quicken Loans Arena not knowing who their opponent would be in the opening round. But a little more than an hour later, New Jersey beat Chicago, giving the Cavaliers the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference and a first-round matchup with Washington, the seventh seed.
Magic 94, Heat 68
At Orlando, Florida, Grant Hill scored 17 points, Hedo Turkoglu added 15 and Orlando beat undermanned Miami for its sixth victory in seven games.
The Magic will open the playoffs at Detroit this weekend. They are 0-4 against the Pistons this season.
Orlando certainly got a break in the finale, playing the Heat without stars Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade.
Nuggets 100, Spurs 77
At San Antonio, Reggie Evans had 19 points and 20 rebounds to help Denver beat San Antonio in a game that was more of a tuneup than a playoff preview.
Denver and San Antonio will meet again in the first round of the playoffs, beginning this weekend.
For the regular season finale, both teams rested their top players.
Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Fabricio Oberto didn't play for the Spurs, while Allen Iverson, Carmelo Anthony, Nene and Marcus Camby sat out for Denver.
Wizards 98, Pacers 95
At Indianapolis, Antawn Jamison had 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Washington beat Indiana to clinch the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
In other NBA action it was:
* 76ers 122, Raptors 119
* Pistons 91, Celtics 89
* Grizzlies 116, T'wolves 94
* Knicks 94, Bobcats 93
* Lakers 117, Kings 104
* Jazz 101, Rockets 91
* Mavericks 106, Sonics 75
* Warriors 120, Trail Blazers 98
* Hornets 86, Clippers 83
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GERMAN LEADER: Liverpool’s 19th English title, one behind Manchester United’s record of 20, owes much to the transformational impact of coach Juergen Klopp Liverpool on Thursday ended a 30-year wait for the English title as they were crowned Premier League champions, triggering jubilant scenes as fans ignored social distancing measures to celebrate uproariously. Juergen Klopp’s men sealed a 19th league title with a record seven games remaining after Chelsea’s 2-1 defeat of second-placed Manchester City left the defending champions an unbridgeable 23 points adrift. Liverpool’s first English title since 1989-1990 — delayed by the COVID-19 suspension — earns them their maiden trophy in the Premier League, which was introduced in 1992-1993 and has been won 13 times by their archrivals Manchester United. Klopp was in tears
WOLFSBURG BEATEN: Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski scored from a penalty, his 34th league goal this season, finishing as the top Bundesliga scorer for the fifth time Werder Bremen gave themselves hope of avoiding relegation from the Bundesliga by thrashing Cologne 6-1 to grab a playoff place on the last day of the season, while champions Bayern Munich routed VfL Wolfsburg before lifting the trophy on Saturday. Japan striker Yuya Osako scored twice as Bremen stole the lifeline of the relegation/promotion playoff place from Fortuna Duesseldorf, who lost 3-0 against Union Berlin and were relegated with SC Paderborn, finishing one point behind Bremen. “We put in a great performance under pressure, but we are aware that we haven’t achieved anything — in the relegation playoff, the emotions will be
Alexis Lafreniere was supposed to walk on stage on Friday night in Montreal as the top pick in the NHL draft. After the COVID-19 pandemic paused the hockey season and postponed that possibility, Lafreniere was supposed to find out Friday night where he would be going when the league held its draft lottery. Instead, he must wait a little bit longer. Chaos reigned at the NHL draft lottery, with the No. 1 pick still up for grabs in a second lottery drawing among the eight teams that lose in the qualifying round of the playoffs — if play resumes. “We all knew