Grizzlies beat Suns in battle for playoff spot in the Western Conference.
There were 10 games on the NBA schedule on Monday night, with the Indiana Pacers sealing top seed in the East while Memphis Grizzlies eliminated the Phoenix Suns.
The Pacers secured the No.1 seed in the Eastern Conference without even playing on Monday night, as the Miami Heat slipped to defeat against the Washington Wizards.
However, there was no disappointment in the locker room after the game, as Dwyane Wade insisted that the season starts again with the playoffs and they will be looking forward to the challenge ahead.
With the odds against them in terms of pipping the Pacers to top spot, coach Erik Spoelstra decided to rest both LeBron James and Chris Bosh, while Wade was given vital playing time after recovering from his hamstring injury.
In their absence, Trevor Ariza stepped up for the hosts with 25 points to lead them to a 21-point win while Michael Beasley responded with 18 points and five rebounds.
Staying in the East, the Toronto Raptors secured a franchise-best 48th win of the season with Greivis Vasquez scoring 25 points while Kyle Lowry added 24.
While Vasquez claimed that this was the best team that he had ever been on after the game, the true measure of their ability will undoubtedly come in the post-season, although they will be focusing on locking up the third seed first.
That race is still open as the Chicago Bulls beat the Orlando Magic to stay tied with Toronto at 48-33, with Joakim Noah posting up 18 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.
Noah insisted that “whatever happens, happens” in terms of their opening round opponents, and that they will be ready for whoever they have to face with the possibility of it being the Brooklyn Nets.
With guard D.J. Augustin missing the game for the birth of his child, Jimmer Fredette came in to the rotation with increased minutes and added 17 points.
Over in the West, the Memphis Grizzlies eliminated the Phoenix Suns from the post-season as Zach Randolph scored 32 points to put them in the top eight.
While they will still hope to replace the Dallas Mavericks in seventh with an identical 49-32 record, Memphis will undoubtedly be delighted with their pressure road win to book their place in the playoffs.
Boston Celtics 108-113 Philadelphia 76ers
Milwaukee Bucks 100-110 Toronto Raptors
Miami Heat 93-114 Washington Wizards
Charlotte Bobcats 95-83 Atlanta Hawks
Orlando Magic 95-108 Chicago Bulls
San Antonio Spurs 98-104 Houston Rockets
Oklahoma City Thunder 98-101 New Orleans Pelicans
Los Angeles Lakers 119-104 Utah Jazz
Memphis Grizzlies 97-91 Phoenix Suns
Minnesota Timberwolves 120-130 Golden State Warriors
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