Irving game-winner lifts Celtics, Timberwolves stun Warriors in OT
The Celtics' Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving.
The Boston Celtics edged the Indiana Pacers thanks to Kyrie Irving's clutch play, while the Golden State Warriors were upstaged by the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Irving weaved his way to the basket to hit a game-winning lay-up, lifting the Celtics to a 114-112 victory in the NBA on Friday.
He finished with a game-high 30 points, five assists and three steals. Irving was trailed by Al Horford, who scored 19 points.
The win could prove very important in terms of postseason seeding. Both Boston and Indiana are 45-31, but the win gives the Celtics fourth place in the Eastern Conference via their 2-1 advantage in their regular-season series with the Pacers – the first tie-breaker.
The two teams play for the final time on April 5 in Indiana. If Indiana win that game and the pair are tied in the standings at the end of the campaign, the next tie-breaker is conference record. Boston hold a slight advantage over Indiana, 31-15 to 30-16.
Meanwhile, Karl-Anthony Towns made a pair of free throws with 0.5 seconds remaining in overtime as the Timberwolves stunned the Warriors 131-130.
Lillard powers Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard scored a game-high 36 points to lift the Portland Trail Blazers past the Atlanta Hawks 118-98.
Stephen Curry scored 37 points and made 11 three-pointers for the Warriors.
Russell Westbrook totalled 29 points, nine rebounds and nine assists in the Oklahoma City Thunder's 115-105 loss to the Denver Nuggets.
Maurice Harkless scored eight points on three-of-10 shooting in the Trail Blazers' win.
Kyle Korver scored five points on one-of-six shooting in the Utah Jazz's 128-124 victory against the Washington Wizards.
Boston Celtics 114-112 Indiana Pacers
Portland Trail Blazers 118-98 Atlanta Hawks
Minnesota Timberwolves 131-130 Golden State Warriors (OT)
Denver Nuggets 115-105 Oklahoma City Thunder
Utah Jazz 128-124 Washington Wizards
Los Angeles Lakers 129-115 Charlotte Hornets
Celtics at Nets
The Brooklyn Nets have dropped to seventh in the Eastern Conference standings. Boston have been inconsistent throughout the season, but beat the Pacers to move up to fourth in the east. Both sides are looking to optimize their results the final six games for more favourable postseason matchups.