JEFF Teague's jumps over a minute in overtime put the timber wolves ahead of Minnesota and toppled Denver 112-106 on Thursday (AEST) to catch the last place in NBA playoffs.
The last western spot was the only one at stake last season. It was NBA's first winner-get-in, loser-go-home game since 1997.
Denver would have been to the postseason with a victory in Minnesota. Minnesota is in playoffs for the first time since 2004 – ended what was the longest active drought in the NBA
Elsewhere, Russell Westbrook officially reached the 16 rebounds he required to average a triple double in the season, cut the 16th against Memphis Grizzlies with 9:09 back in the third quarter.
Westbrook finished six points, 20 rebounds and 19 assists, becoming the first player in NBA history to average a triple-double for several seasons.
BROOKLYN NETS 97 – 110 BOSTON CELTICS
Aron Baynes led a short-haired Boston lineup with career-best 26 points and 14 rebounds, carrying Celtics past Brooklyn.
Jonathan Gibson scored 18 points, Guerschon Yabusele had 16 and Shane Larkin added 12 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds for Celtics. Nik Stauskas scored 18 points for the network.
NEW YORK KNICKS 110 – 98 CLEVELAND CAVALIERS
LeBron James played in his 82nd match, scored 10 points and then got off at playoffs in Cleveland's loss to New York in coach Jeff Hornaceks Probably last game with Knicks.
James had never played every game in his 15-year-old NBA career. But he covered a remarkable season where he seemed to break a record every night by adding another performance to his long list of results. Cav's coach Tyronn Lue said he tried to speak James out of play but he gave in and gave the 33-year-old the chance to expand his record of two-digit scoring to 873 consecutive games before he took him out. James finished 10 points and five rebounds at 10:33. Knicks rookie Luke Kornet scored the high season 23 points.
TORONTO RAPTORS 109 – 116 MIAMI HEAT
Wayne Ellington scored a career high 32 points and put Miami's single-season record for 3 pointers, helping Heat wrap up No. 6 seed in the eastern conference.
Ellington finished with eight 3 pointers, giving him 227 to the season. He peaked the mark set by Damon Jones, who made 225 in 2004-05. Kelly Olynyk, Dwyane Wade, Justise Winslow, James Johnson and Tyler Johnson scored 11 points for Heat.
Kyle Lowry scored 28 points for Toronto, who already had the top seed in the East wrapped.
WASHINGTON WIZARDS 92 – 101 ORLANDO MAGIC
Rodney Purvis scored 16 points for Orlando and Mario Hezonja finished 15 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Jodie Meeks came out of the bench to score 18 points for Washington. They lost five of their last six games to take the eighth and final eastern conference playoff spot.
MILWAUKEE BUCKS 95 – 130 PHILADELPHIA 76ERS
Joel Embiid and JJ Redick looked from the bench, Ben Simmons had a scoreless first half and Philadelphia still won his 16 consecutive games to take No. 3 Eastern Conference Seed.
Fultz had his first career triple-double with 13 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds. Justin Anderson led Sixers with 25 points and Dario Saric had 24. Embiid had a black mask under warming to protect his broken leg around his left eye, then transformed into gold shoes and a peach-colored jacket to see the Sixers shirt to an amazing 80- 44 remain in the break. Embiid said that he will probably miss at least 1 playoffs on the weekend due to the injury. Rookie Luke Kennard scored a career high 23 points and Eric Moreland set career orders with 16 points and 17 rebounds for Detroit. Anthony Tolliver had 18 points and Henry Ellenson added 14 points and 10 rebounds. Rookie Lauri Markkanen had 20 points for Chicago.
DENVER NUGGES 106 – 112 MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES
Jimmy Butler scored 31 points, Karl Anthony Towns had 26 points and 14 rebounds and Minnesota Timberwolves ended NBA's longest run-out drought and hit Denver Nuggets 112-106 overtime Wednesday evening in the first last day's play-in game in the league for 21 years. When the final horn blew, the capacity and the white towel fan at the Target Center remained soft in Minnesota's first postseason appearance since 2004.
SAN ANTONIO SPURS 98 – 122 NEW ORLEANS PELICANS
Anthony Davis had 22 points, 15 rebounds, four blocks and three steals, and New Orleans assured no worse than the sixth seed in the Western Conference.
Rajon Rondo had 19 points and 14 assisted, Nikola Mirotic had 21 points and 15 rebounds, and Jrue Holiday added 19 points for the Pelican LaMarcus Aldridge, Tony Parker and Dejounte Murray each scored 11 points for San Antonio.
MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES 123 – 137 OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER
Russell Westbrook clinched a triple double averages for the second straight season, Paul George scored 40 points and Oklahoma beat Memphis. Westbrook came in at night, needing 16 rebounds to cope with the triple double averages. He pulled down his 16th rebound with just over nine minutes back in the third quarter and got a standing ovation. He finished with only six points but had a career high 20 rebounds and 19 assists.
Steven Adams scored 24 points. and Corey Brewer added 17 for Thunder, matching a franchise record with 20 made 3-pointers. Dillon Brooks scored a career high 36 points for Memphis.
LOS ANGELES LAKERS – LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS
UTAH JAZZ – PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS
HOUSTON ROCKETS – SACRAMENTO KINGS
More to come!