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SportsPulse: Despite recent struggles, we still rank the Lakers as the top team in the foam strength ranking. In the early days of the bubble, two teams were on the rise: the Indiana Pacers and the Phoenix Suns.

USA Today

On Friday night, the Boston Celtics led by 40 points in the line-to-line rout of the Toronto Raptors. Coach Brad Stevens knew that a 122-100 victory was actually meaningless.

The Raptors and Celtics are ranked second and third seeds in the Eastern Conference, respectively, and there is a great chance that they will meet in the playoffs. If this happens, Stevens said, you can throw Friday’s results out the window.

Stevens said: “If we get this opportunity again, this game will be meaningless.” “They are a very good team. I thought they missed a lot of open looks, and that was not theirs. Night. Our players performed well, but it will be meaningless in the next few weeks.”

The Celtics handed their first defeat of the season to the defending champion in a decisive way. Boston took a 15-point lead into the breakthrough, and then ended the game with a score of 36-12 in the third quarter. The Celtics entered fourth with a 91-57 lead, and the other two teams entered the bench.

Despite the blowout, the Raptors coach Nick Nurse still feels like his peers.

The nurse said: “I hate to say that, but I don’t really learn much.” “The only thing I may learn is that we have to make some of our players play better.”

Friday’s game

Spurs 119, Jazz 111: With Anthony Utah resting in peace with Donovan Mitchell, Mike Conley and Rudy Gobert, San Antonio won a much-needed victory and moved to Tenth in the West.

Grizzlies 121, Thunder 92: Memphis led the way, finally won the first victory of the restart and consolidated its eighth place in the Western Conference.

Nets 119, Kings 106: After Brooklyn gained control in the second quarter, Caris LeVert scored 22 points and rolled into the playoffs from there.

76ers 108, Magic 101: In the second half, Joel Embiid scored 16 of 23 points to lead Philadelphia without hurting Ben Simmons in the first game.

Pelicans 118, Wizards 107: New Orleans won without Zion Williamson, thereby improving the chances of participating in the game while excluding Washington from the playoffs.

Celtics 122, Raptors 100: On the road to line-to-line victory, Boston has maintained its slim hopes with as many as 40 leads, that is, catching up with Toronto in second place in the East.

Saturday schedule

It has always been the East. All games can also be obtained on the league pass.

  • Clippers vs Trail Blazers, 1 (TNT)
  • Jazz vs. Nuggets, 3:30 (TNT)
  • Lakers vs. Pacers, 6 (TNT)
  • Sun vs. Heat, 7:30
  • Bucks vs. Mavericks, 8:30 (ESPN)

State of the playoffs

The eight playoff teams in the East have now been determined, and the seeds have the only decision left. The Wizards’ defeat on Friday saved them from contention. The Celtics’ chances of finishing second with the Raptors are still slim, but Toronto and Boston still seem likely to be second and third respectively.

The 76ers stepped up the game after that, tied for fifth with the Pacers, and fifth behind the Heat. Each of these teams has four games left to determine the first round.

After the game on Friday, the highest peak in the west remained basically unchanged. The Jazz trailed the Rockets by half a game and ranked fourth, and the Thunder failed to make any progress. Despite this, the seeds 3-6 are still only 2½ games apart. When deciding who advances to the first round, the duel is very important, so it is interesting to see if any team participates in any magic game to put themselves in a good position.

The Grizzlies’ first victory in the bubble was huge for them, but the team that chased them to eighth place suffered. Memphis led Portland by one game, and the Spurs retreated two more games. The Pelicans and Suns are 2½ games behind the Grizzlies, and they need help to make it to the knockout rounds.

Basic reading

SIMMONS damage:The 76ers are not ready for the worst

Eastern favorite: The contradictions of the Bucks should not cause concern

Eight games:Can the Blazers beat the Lakers in a potential first-round series?

Unsung hero: One of the most important figures in the bubble will not appear in court

Due diligence: How Moe Harkless used isolation to support black culture

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