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June 12, 2024
Starting 5, April 10: Clippers, Mavs clinch; Knicks, Pelicans climb
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Starting 5, April 10: Clippers, Mavs clinch; Knicks, Pelicans climb

Jun 12, 2024

Starting 5

Tuesday’s 14-game night�saw two teams clinch, two teams climb, and one Antman drop his first 50-piece … while playing in front of 50 Cent.


What’s inside today’s edition?�

Antman’s 51:Anthony Edwards’ career-high helped the Wolves keep No. 1 spot in the West

Tickets punched:The Clippers won the Pacific, the Mavs clinched, and the Pelicans rose to 6th

In the east:Jalen Brunson’s 45 helps NY rise to 3rd, Bucks snap 4-game slide, Sixers win 6th straight

Playoff Picture:Five of the six guaranteed playoff spots in the West have been claimed

Wednesday preview:Four must-see games highlight an eight-game slate


Last night’s scores & what to watch today.

An ESPN doubleheaderhighlights an eight-game Wednesday night, beginning in Miami as the Heat host the Mavericks (7:30 ET, ESPN/ESPN2) followed by a battle for first in the West when the Nuggets host the Wolves (10 ET, ESPN).


Anthony Edwards drops 51 points on the Wizards at to fuel a comeback win that keeps the Wolves at No. 1 in the West.

Edwards scores 51: Anthony Edwards erupted for a career-high 51 points (with 7 ast, 6 reb and 6 3s) to help the Wolves overcome a 21-point deficit and secure a 130-121 win over the Wizards. Minnesota maintains its grip on the No. 1 seed in the West. | Recap

  • Help on the way:The Wolves have battled Denver and OKC for No. 1 in the West without Karl-Anthony Towns for the past month due to knee surgery. Minnesota announced Tuesday that KAT has been cleared for full activity and is progressing toward a return
  • Postgame interview:Ant gave his reaction to the Towns news: “KAT is back baby! … The whole team is ready to have him back.”�

Jokic & Murray show: Nikola Jokic (28 pts, 13 reb, 7 ast) flirted with another triple-double, while Jamal Murray was all about the 4s on Tuesday (28 pts, 4 ast, 4 stl, 4 blk, 4 3s) as the Nuggets never trailed in a 111-95 win over the Jazz. | Recap

OKC stars return, lead rally:After missing six of OKC’s last seven games with a quad injury, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander looked like he never left, dropping a game-high 40 points to lead the Thunder as they rallied from 20 points down to upend the Kings 112-105.

Jalen Williams added 11 points and six boards as he returned after missing four games. | Recap

  • Streak snapped:Domantas Sabonis’ double-double streak ended at 61 games as he was held to eight points, while De’Aaron Fox led the Kings with 33 points in the loss


Clippers clinch Pacific Division:The Clippers led 35-4 after the game’s first 10 minutes and weathered a comeback attempt by the Suns – who won the second half 59-39 – to come away with a 105-92 wire-to-wire win.

  • Russell Westbrook (16 pts, 15 reb, 15 ast) posted his first triple-double since Jan. 15, 2021 to reach 199 for his career. | Recap

Mavs clinch playoff berth: Luka Doncic looked unstoppable (39 pts, 12 reb, 10 ast, 8 3s) as the Mavs raced past the Hornets 130-104 for their fourth straight win. Daniel Gafford (26 pts, 7 reb) and Kyrie Irving (18 pts, 9 ast) combined for 44 points as the Mavs won for the 15th time in their last 17 games. | Recap

Pelicans move up to 6th: Trey Murphy (31 pts, 5 3s), CJ McCollum (29 pts, 5 3s) and Zion Williamson (22 pts) combined for 82 points in New Orleans’ 110-100 win over Portland to climb out of the Play-In. Scoot Henderson set the Blazers rookie record for assists with 15 dimes. | Recap

Warriors rain 3s in Southern California: Golden State became the first team in NBA history to make at least 25 3s (they hit 26) while shooting at least 60% (they shot 63.4%) as the Warriors secured a 134-120 win over the Lakers in a potential Play-In preview. | Recap

Wemby leads Spurs:Victor Wembanyama (18 pts, 7 reb, 6 ast, 7 blk) posted his eighth game of the season with 7+ blocks, while the rest of the NBA has 12 such games combined.

Wemby (252 blk) is the first rookie since Shaq (286 in 1992-93) to block 250+ shots in a season. | Recap


Knicks rise to 3rd:Jalen Brunson scored 15 of his game-high 45 points in the first quarter as the Knicks built a lead they never relinquished. OG Anunoby added 24 points in his third game back from injury, while DeMar DeRozan led the Bulls with 34 points. | Recap

  • Among N.Y. legends: Brunson joined Bernard King (13 in 1984-85) and Patrick Ewing (11 in 1989-90) as the only Knicks with 10+ games with 40+ points in a season

Full Focus: Bucks power through Giannis injury to snap losing streak

The Milwaukee Bucks rally after losing Giannis Antetokounmpo to snap their four-game losing streak.

Bucks end 4-game slide: The Bucks snapped a four-game losing streak, but lost Giannis Antetokounmpo to a calf strain late in the third quarter of a 104-91 win over Boston. Patrick Beverley posted his second career 20/10 game, while Giannis had 15 pts, 8 reb and 7 ast before exiting the game. | Recap

  • Record low FTs:Giannis had the game’s only two free throw attempts as the teams shattered the previous mark for fewest combined FT attempts (11: Indiana at Orlando, Nov. 10, 2019)

Rockets hold off Magic: Fred VanVleet scored a season-high 37 points and knocked down six 3s, while Jabari Smith added 23 points and seven boards to lead the Rockets to a 118-106 win over the Magic to snap a five-game losing streak. Paolo Banchero had 21 for Orlando, which dropped to fourth with the loss. | Recap

Pacers score 140: Indiana used a dominant second half (75-59) to pull away from the Raptors for a 140-123 win. Tyrese Haliburton (30 pts, 5 ast) and Obi Toppin (23 pts, 1 poster) combined for 53 as the Pacers reached 140 points for a league-high 10th time this season. | Recap

Sixers win 6th straight:Joel Embiid (37 pts, 11 reb, 8 ast, 3 stl, 2 blk) stuffed the stat sheet in 36 minutes – the most he’s played since returning from his knee injury – to lead Philly to a 120-102 win over Detroit. | Recap

Heat survive in 2OT: Miami bounced back from a two-point loss to Indiana on Sunday with a double-overtime win over Atlanta to keep their hopes of a top-six finish alive. Tyler Herro (33), Jimmy Butler (25) and Nikola Jovic (23) combined for 81 points as the Heat outlasted the Hawks 117-111. | Recap


The Clippers and Mavsclinched playoff berths in the West, while the Knicks and Magic swapped spots in the East. The latest from Tuesday:

Western Conference

  • ↔️ The Wolves remain 1st via tiebreaker over (2) Denver, and stay a game up on (3) OKC
  • ↔️ The Nuggets remain 2ndas (1) Minnesota owns the tiebreaker, also stay a game up on (3) OKC
  • ↔️ The Thunder remain 3rd, a game back of both (1) Minnesota and (2) Denver
  • ☑️ ↔️ The Clippers remain 4th, clinching the Pacific Division and a playoff berth
  • ☑️ ↔️ The Mavs remain 5th,clinching a playoff berth, while staying two games back of (4) LA Clippers and two games up on (6) New Orleans
  • ⬆️ The Pelicans jump from 7th to 6th, one game up on (7) Phoenix, two games up on (8) Sacramento and two games back of (5) Dallas
  • ⬇️ The Suns drop from 6th to 7th, one game back of (6) New Orleans, one game up on (8) Sacramento and 1.5 games up on (9) L.A. Lakers
  • ↔️ The Kings remain 8th,one game back of (7) Phoenix, two games back of (6) New Orleans, a half-game up on (9) L.A. Lakers and one game up on (10) Golden State
  • ↔️ The Lakers remain 9th, a half-game back of (8) Sacramento and a half-game up on (10) Golden State
  • ↔️ The Warriors remain 10th,a half-game back of (9) L.A. Lakers (GSW owns tiebreaker if needed) and a full game back of (8) Sacramento (SAC owns tiebreaker if needed)

Eastern Conference

  • ↔️ The Bucks remain 2nd, one game ahead of (3) NY and two games ahead of (4) Orlando and (5) Cleveland
  • ⬇️ The Magic drop from 3rd to 4th, trailing (3) NY by a game. Orlando edges out (5) Cleveland via tiebreaker. Both teams are a half-game up on (6) Indiana
  • ⬆️ The Knicks jump from 4th to 3rd,one game back of (2) Milwaukee and one game up on (4) Orlando and (5) Cleveland
  • ↔️ The Pacers remain 6th,a half-game back of (4) Orlando and (5) Cleveland, one game up on (7) Philly and 1.5 up on (8) Miami
  • ↔️ The Sixers remain 7th,a game back of (6) Indiana and a half-game up on (8) Miami
  • ↔️ The Heat remain 8th, a half-game back of (7) Philadelphia and 1.5 games behind (6) Indiana
  • ↔️ The Bulls remain 9th,a game ahead of (10) Atlanta
  • ↔️ The Hawks remain 10th,a game back of (9) Chicago


On an eight-game Wednesday,these four must-see matchups all have postseason implications.

Wolves at Nuggets (10 ET, ESPN)

  • 1st place on the line: The teams enter tonight even at 55-24, with the winner taking a full-game lead in the race for the No. 1 seed
  • Tiebreaker:The Wolves will hold the tiebreaker if they win (3-1 head-to-head) or lose (better division record)
  • Why That Matters?The Nuggets must finish ahead in standings to win conference

Thunder vs. Spurs (8 ET, NBA App)

  • SGA is back: Shai returned on Tuesday and dropped 40 in 38 minutes on the Kings. He had no minutes restriction, but will OKC be cautious with his quad on the second night of a back-to-back?
  • Final week of Wemby:With the Spurs out of playoff contention, the rookie phenom puts a bow on his special debut NBA season
  • Not the final week of Chet: Holmgren’s rookie season will continue in the playoffs. Dive into Chet’s journey to this point of his young career in thelatest episode of Pass The Rock

Magic at Bucks (8 ET, NBA App)

  • Familiar foes: The first of two meetings over the final five days of the season with the Bucks (48-31) and Magic (46-33) separated by just two games
  • Giannis’ status: Keep an eye on the injury report for any updates on Giannis’ calf strain
  • Jalen Suggson the postseason🗣️: “I’m so excited. [It’s] just something that a lot of us have never experienced before.”

Mavs at Heat (7:30 ET, ESPN/ESPN2)

  • Playoff vs. Play-In:The Mavs have clinched their playoff berth (5th in West), while the Heat continue to try to climb out of the Play-In (8th in East, 1.5 games back of 6th)
  • Star duos:The Luka/Kyrie pairing went from 9.3 net rating pre All-Star to 11.9 post All-Star (8th-best rating among duos with 500+ minutes). The Heat counter with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo
  • Key acquisitions:Both teams made in-season trades that are paying off. Terry Rozier (16.4 ppg in 31 games) has provided an additional scoring punch to the Heat backcourt. Daniel Gafford and P.J. Washington have solidified the Mavs’ frontline

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