CHICAGO – John Lucas III scored a career-high 25 points, Joakim Noah had 13 points and 13 rebounds, and the Chicago Bulls clinched the top overall seed in the NBA playoffs with a 107-75 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers Thursday.
With the No. 1 seed in the East already in hand and the playoffs beginning Saturday, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau took no chances in the regular-season finale. He rested Derrick Rose, Luol Deng and Kyle Korver. Chicago will host Philadelphia Saturday.
Tristan Thompson scored 13 points for the Cavaliers, who lost four straight games to end the season, their second straight last-place finish in the Central Division.
Nuggets 131, Timberwolves 102: JaVale McGee scored 19 points to help the Denver Nuggets lock down the sixth seed in the Western Conference playoffs with a 131-102 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Arron Afflalo scored 18 points and Danilo Gallinari had 17 points for the Nuggets, who will face the third-seeded Los Angeles Lakers in the first round.
Grizzlies 88, Magic 76: Marc Gasol scored 22 points, Rudy Gay added 20 and the Memphis Grizzlies claimed the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference playoffs with an 88-76 win over the short-handed Orlando Magic.
The Grizzlies will open the playoffs at home Sunday against the Los Angeles Clippers, who dropped to the fifth.
Hawks 106, Mavericks 89: Josh Smith scored 23 points and the Atlanta Hawks clinched home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs, racing to a 23-point lead in the opening quarter on the way to a 106-89 victory over the Dallas Mavericks in the regular-season finale.
The Hawks (40-26) wrapped up the fourth-best record in the East and host Boston Sunday. The defending NBA champion Mavericks (36-30) open the playoffs Saturday at Oklahoma City.
Celtics 87, Bucks 74: Paul Pierce scored all 12 of his points in the first half despite missing most of it with a sprained toe and Rajon Rondo had 15 assists as the Boston Celtics closed the regular season with a 87-74 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Raptors 98, Nets 67: Ben Uzoh had 12 points, a career-high 12 assists and 11 rebounds for his first career triple-double, and the Toronto Raptors routed New Jersey 98-67 in Thursday night’s season finale, a loss that slightly improves the Nets’ chances in the NBA draft lottery.
Pistons 108, 76ers 86: Ben Gordon scored 26 points, including eight 3-pointers, to help the Detroit Pistons rout the short-handed Philadelphia 76ers 108-86.
Jazz 96, Trail Blazers 94: Rookie Alec Burks scored 18 points and NBA Slam Dunk champ Jeremy Evans led a 10-0 fourth-quarter run as the playoff-bound Utah Jazz beat the Portland Trail Blazers 96-94.
Rockets 84, Hornets 77; Wizards 104, Heat 70; Kings 113, Lakers 96; Spurs 107, Warriors 101. — Agencies