OKLAHOMA CITY — Kevin Durant scored 29 points, Russell Westbrook had 21 before getting ejected in the final 3 minutes and the Oklahoma City Thunder clinched the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs by beating the Sacramento Kings 104-95 on Monday night.
Tyreke Evans, the Kings’ second-leading scorer, did not return after grabbing at his troublesome left knee following a drive to the basket late in the first quarter.
Durant hit a 3-pointer and Westbrook set up Serge Ibaka for a two-handed slam during a string of 11 straight Thunder points midway through the third quarter that stretched the lead to 75-51.
Sacramento was able to cut the deficit to 11 early in the fourth quarter and force coach Scott Brooks to put Durant and Westbrook back in and close out the game.
Jazz 96, Timberwolves 80: In Minneapolis, Al Jefferson had 22 points and eight rebounds to help Utah keep its playoff hopes alive.
Mo Williams had 15 points and seven assists for the Jazz.
The Jazz still need to win at Memphis on Wednesday and for the Los Angeles Lakers to lose at home against Houston that night to get into the playoffs.
Nuggets 112, Bucks 111: In Milwaukee, Ty Lawson scored 26 points, including a jumper in the lane with 9.3 seconds left, as the Denver Nuggets clinched home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Monta Ellis scored 38 points for the Bucks.
BULLS 102, MAGIC 84: In Orlando, Fla., Carlos Boozer scored 22 points, Luol Deng added 18 and the Chicago Bulls snapped a two-game losing streak.
The win, which was the Bulls’ fifth straight over the Magic, also keeps alive their hopes of catching of Atlanta for the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference.
Tobias Harris led Orlando with 20 points, followed by Nik Vucevic with 17 points and 14 rebounds. Maurice Harkless also chipped in 16 points.
Grizzlies 103, Mavericks 97: In Dallas, Keyon Dooling scored 13 points, including a go-ahead 3-pointer before consecutive baskets by Ed Davis, and the Memphis Grizzlies rallied to keep alive their chance of hosting a first-round playoff series.
Jerryd Bayless had 19 points, and the Grizzlies’ reserves accounted for 64 points, including all 35 in the decisive fourth quarter.
Dirk Nowitzki had 26 points for the Mavs.
Nets 106, Wizards 101: In New York, Andray Blatche led a bevy of Brooklyn bench players with 20 points and 11 rebounds, and the Nets erased an early 17-point deficit.
Kris Humphries added 20 points and nine rebounds for Brooklyn.
Heat 96, Cavaliers 95: In Cleveland, LeBron James watched from the bench in street clothes as Norris Cole stripped Kyrie Irving of the ball with 2.2 seconds left for the Miami Heat. Cole finished with 18 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists.
Bobcats 106, Knicks 95: In Charlotte, N.C., Gerald Henderson scored 27 points, and Kemba Walker had 23 points and a career-high 13 assists for the Bobcats.
The Knicks played only seven players, resting Carmelo Anthony and others after wrapping up the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Tyson Chandler, J.R. Smith, Raymond Felton, Amar’e Stoudemire, Marcus Camby and Kenyon Martin also did not play.
Pistons 109, 76ers 101: In Auburn Hills, Mich., Greg Monroe had 27 points and 16 rebounds for the Detroit Pistons.
Dorell Wright had 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the 76ers. Jrue Holiday added 14 points.