Kings beat Nets to clinch first winning season since 2005-06
NEW YORK — Domantas Sabonis had 24 points and 21 rebounds, and the Sacramento Kings clinched their first winning season since 2005-06 by beating the Brooklyn Nets 101-96 on Thursday night.
De’Aaron Fox added 18 points, six rebounds and five assists for the Kings, who improved to 42-27, second in the Western Conference. They hadn’t finished above .500 since going 44-38 in 2005-06, the last of eight consecutive playoff appearances under Rick Adelman.
Sabonis had 20 points by halftime and the Kings led by as much as 17, but the Nets made it close.
Mikal Bridges scored 23 points for the Nets, who fell 1 1/2 games behind the New York Knicks for fifth place in the Eastern Conference and are just 1 1/2 ahead of seventh-place Miami as they try to avoid the playin tournament.
Spencer Dinwiddie added 18 points and Nic Claxton had 14 points and 14 rebounds for the Nets.
NUGGETS 119, PISTONS 100
DETROIT — Nikola Jokic scored 30 points and Denver beat Detroit to snap a season-high four-game losing streak and clinched the Northwest Division.
Jokic, the two-time reigning NBA MVP, had three assists and three rebounds before his first attempt several minutes into the game and finished 14 of 18 from the field with 10 rebounds and nine assists.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 20 points, Jamal Murray had 19 and Aaron Gordon 15 for the Western Conference-leading Nuggets.
Rodney McGruder scored 20 for the Pistons, who have lost 12 of 13 games and have the NBA’s worst record. Detroit rookies Jalen Duren had 15 points and 13 assists, while Jaden Ivey added 14 points and six assists.
PACERS 139, BUCKS 123
MILWAUKEE — Andrew Nembhard scored 24 points and Aaron Nesmith hit six 3-pointers and finished with 22 points as Indiana rallied late and beat Central Divisionand Eastern Conference-leading Milwaukee.
With Nesmith leading the way, Indiana (32-38) shot 20 for 41 from 3-point distance, including 11 of 14 in the second half, and shot 56.5% overall. Meanwhile, Milwaukee (5020) shot 52.8%, went 11 for 32 from beyond the arc and gave up 13 points off 12 turnovers.
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 25 points. Jrue Holiday added 19 and Khris Middleton finished with 16 for Milwaukee.
Indiana, which was playing without injured leading scorer and AllStar point guard Tyrese Haliburton (ankle), had seven players score in double-figures. Buddy Hield scored and T.J. McConnell 19.
RAPTORS 128, THUNDER 111
TORONTO — Pascal Siakam had 25 points and 14 rebounds and Toronto extended its season-high home winning streak to six games with a win over Oklahoma City.
Jakob Poeltl had his third straight double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Raptors. Gary Trent Jr. added 23 points and Fred VanVleet and Scottie Barnes each had 19. O.G. Anunoby added 17 points.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 29 points and Jalen Williams had 15 for the Thunder, who came in having won three straight and six of seven. Oklahoma City is 13-21 on the road. Josh Giddey scored 13 points, Tre Mann and Isaiah Joe each had 12 and Luguentz Dort scored 10 points for the Thunder.