NBA: Boston Celtics clinch second in Eastern Conference on final regular-season day
The Boston Celtics secured second place in the Eastern Conference for the NBA play-offs with a comfortable 139-110 win over the Memphis Grizzlies in their regular-season finale.
The Celtics got the chance to move ahead of the defending champions Milwaukee Bucks who lost 133-115 to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
And they made no mistake with Jayson Tatum scoring 26 first-half points.
The Golden State Warriors clinched third place in the Western Conference.
Klay Thompson scored a season-high 41 points as they defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 128-107.
It beat his previous high of 38 and was the fourth time in his last six games he has scored more than 30 points.
It gave Golden State their fifth consecutive win and they will now face sixth seeds Denver Nuggets in the first round of the play-offs.
Sunday’s games finalised the line-up for the post-season action.
Teams from seventh to 10th in the Eastern Conference and Western Conference now progress to the play-ins.
Two teams from each division can then secure a place in the end-of-season play-offs via the play-ins route.
The East tournament will begin on Tuesday with the Brooklyn Nets against Cleveland Cavaliers with the winners facing the Celtics in round one of the play-offs.
The Atlanta Hawks and Charlotte Hornets will play on Wednesday with the winner advancing to face the loser of the Nets-Cavaliers game on Friday.
The winner of Friday’s match will be the eighth seed in the East and face top seeds Miami Heat.
In the West play-in tournament, the Minnesota Timberwolves and Los Angeles Clippers start the action on Tuesday with the winners earning the seventh seed and a series against the Memphis Grizzlies.
The New Orleans Pelicans will host the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday with the winner facing the Timberwolves-Clippers loser on Friday night.
The winner of that will face the Phoenix Suns, the top seeds, on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Philadelphia 76ers centre Joel Embiid became the first international player to clinch the NBA scoring title and the first Sixer since Allen Iverson 17 years ago.
The Cameroonian sat out the final regular game of the season but still finished with 30.6 points per game. His nearest challenger, Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, also skipped Sunday’s action and finished the regular season with 29.9 points.
Brooklyn Nets v Cleveland Cavaliers – winners play Boston Celtics
Atlanta Hawks v Charlotte Hornets – winners face losers of Nets v Cavaliers and the winner of that game will play Miami Heat
Miami Heat (top seed) v eighth seed
Boston Celtics (second seed) v seventh seed
Milwaukee Bucks (third seed) v Chicago Bulls (sixth seed)
Philadelphia 76ers (fourth seed) v Toronto Raptors (fifth seed)
Minnesota Timberwolves v Los Angeles Clippers – winners play Memphis Grizzlies
New Orleans Pelicans v San Antonio Spurs – winners play losers of Timberwolves v Clippers and the winner of that game faces Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns (top seed) v eighth seed
Memphis Grizzlies (second seed) v seventh seed
Golden State Warriors (third seed) v Denver Nuggets (sixth seed)
Dallas Mavericks (fourth seed) v Utah Jazz (fifth seed)