James Harden remains focused on securing the second seed in the Western Conference after the Houston Rockets fell to defeat at the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday.

The Rockets were beaten 108-94 at Fiserv Forum in a matchup touted as a battle between NBA MVP candidates Harden and the hosts' Giannis Antetokounmpo.

And although Harden out-scored his rival 23 points to 19, it was the Eastern Conference leading Bucks who prevailed to leave the Rockets joint-fourth in the West, four games behind the Golden State Warriors and the Denver Nuggets.

Finishing second would potentially allow the Rockets to avoid the double defending champion Warriors until the Conference finals, and Harden is happy with the team's progress following a stumbling start to the season.

"We got a chance to get to the second seed and who would have thought [that] after being in the 14th spot," Harden said.

"It is a process we continue to get better, it is a tough loss for us tonight, but we have seven games [left].

"We just need to take it game by game and have our stride ready come the postseason."

Harden was well-marshalled by the Bucks defense, who restricted the reigning MVP to just nine-of-26 shooting, including one-of-nine on three-point attempts.

"We've played them before, we knew they were going to guard us like that," Harden said. "With that being said, we still had open shots. We couldn't knock them down.

"I think we competed, but they went on a run in the third quarter and that was it."

And Harden's team-mate, Chris Paul, insisted the loss did nothing in his mind to alter the destination of this year's MVP award.

"James had a historic streak," Paul said. "I'm not impartial in this debate, I've seen James play a lot more, that does not mean that Giannis has not had a good season, it's been great for his team, but I see what Harden does every night."

The Milwaukee Bucks beat the Houston Rockets, while the Los Angeles Clippers secured a postseason berth in the NBA.

Milwaukee topped Houston 108-94 as Rockets star James Harden and the Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo went head-to-head on Tuesday.

MVP contender Antetokounmpo scored 19 points and racked up 14 rebounds in his team's win. Eric Bledsoe recorded a team-high 23 points, though.

Harden – the reigning MVP – had an off night, scoring 23 points on just nine-of-26 shooting.

Meanwhile, the Clippers clinched a playoff spot with a 122-111 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Clippers' Danilo Gallinari led all scorers with 25 points, which helped his team fight off solid scoring performances from Karl-Anthony Towns (24) and Andrew Wiggins (22).

Time is winding down. The Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs and Sacramento Kings are still looking to punch their tickets to the playoffs in the Western Conference.

 

Walker stars… again

Kemba Walker's 38 points, nine rebounds and 11 assists powered the Charlotte Hornets to a 125-116 overtime victory against the San Antonio Spurs.

Trae Young tallied 33 points and 12 assists, leading the Atlanta Hawks past the New Orleans Pelicans 130-120.

Jamal Murray scored a game-high 33 points in the Denver Nuggets' 95-92 win over the Detroit Pistons.

Bradley Beal poured in 32 points as the Washington Wizards fell to the Los Angeles Lakers 124-106.

 

Raptors roar but Lin struggles

Jeremy Lin scored two points on one-of-nine shooting, but the Toronto Raptors beat the Chicago Bulls 112-103.

Kelly Olynyk only managed four points on one-of-seven shooting in the Miami Heat's 104-99 loss to the Orlando Magic.

 

Stephenson breaks some ankles

Lance Stephenson's handles sent Washington's Jeff Green stumbling all the way to the baseline.

Dwight Powell reached back to finish this alley-oop in the Dallas Mavericks' 125-121 loss to the Sacramento Kings.

 

Tuesday's results

Boston Celtics 116-106 Cleveland Cavaliers
Charlotte Hornets 125-116 San Antonio Spurs (OT)
Orlando Magic 104-99 Miami Heat
Toronto Raptors 112-103 Chicago Bulls
Milwaukee Bucks 108-94 Houston Rockets
Los Angeles Clippers 122-111 Minnesota Timberwolves
Atlanta Hawks 130-120 New Orleans Pelicans
Sacramento Kings 125-121 Dallas Mavericks
Denver Nuggets 95-92 Detroit Pistons
Los Angeles Lakers 124-106 Washington Wizards

 

Pacers at Thunder

The fourth-seeded Indiana Pacers have already clinched a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. The Thunder, however, have not accomplished this yet. Oklahoma City are seventh in the Western Conference and will face a cold Pacers team who have lost four of their last five games.

James Harden's 61-point eruption against the San Antonio Spurs left Mike D'Antoni to marvel at what the Houston Rockets coach dubbed "one of the best performances".

Harden rallied the Rockets from a six-point deficit with four minutes remaining, scoring 13 consecutive points - including three successive triples - to rescue a 111-105 win for Houston.

The reigning NBA MVP hit 27 points in the first quarter and went on to join Wilt Chamberlain, Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan on the list of players to register multiple 60-point games in the same season.

Harden, who also had 61 points against the New York Knicks in January, tied Jordan and Bryant for the most points in a two-game span over the past 50 seasons, his efforts on Friday taking him to 118 following the 57 he racked up against the Memphis Grizzlies two days earlier.

"I don't know how you get any better," D'Antoni said. "Whoever was in the gym tonight probably [saw] something they have never seen before.

"There's no way. That was one of the best performances - the magnitude of the game, we needed it - just everything. I don't know how many points he got in the last four minutes, but we were down. The guy was playing."

Giannis Antetokounmpo is seen as the favourite for this year's MVP, but Harden's team-mate Chris Paul is in no doubt this performance solidified his status in the race for that honour.

"I mean, what else have you got to do? This was tough, this was crazy," Paul said.

"I keep thinking about a conversation I had with Paul Pierce after his last game when I was with the Clippers, and talking about having an opportunity to appreciate greatness. Sheesh, that's tough. Not only that performance, but we won. We needed it."

"Some of the shots he hit today, it's remarkable," guard Gerald Green added. "I've seen a lot of basketball in my life, played against a lot of people, and his talent level is just something that I've just never seen before.

"The only person that could probably guard him is the coaches and the referee. That's it. There's nobody that can stop him. He's just one of those types of players that he's able to get a shot off at any time.

"He doesn't have any weaknesses. The only person that can stop him is [D'Antoni] if he takes him out, and the referees if they foul him out. That's it."

The Rockets are third in the Western Conference at 46-27, with the Spurs occupying the eighth seed at 42-31.

"We gave up a million points in the first quarter, and they had 19 free throws in the first half and none in the third quarter," said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. "You play with your heart and you play between the ears also.

"We played smarter and we played harder in the second half, but you can't do that against a good team like Houston or any team in the NBA. We played the last two quarters, and then at the end, James put on an MVP-type performance. So that's that."

Houston Rockets star James Harden is making a solid case for a second consecutive NBA MVP award.

In Houston's 111-105 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Friday, the 29-year-old dropped a career-high 61 points, including nine-of-13 shooting from beyond the arc.

Harden now holds all five of the Rockets' best single-game scoring performances.

His 61 points match the Rockets' record he set on January 23 against the New York Knicks.

He also sits third, fourth and fifth on the list with games of 60, 58 and 58 points, all played since the start of the 2017-18 season.

For good measure, Harden has seven of Houston's top eight scoring performances of all time.

Calvin Murphy is the only player in the top eight not named Harden as he scored 57 points during the 1977-78 season.

Harden is now averaging 36.1 points this season, which leads the league.

If he were to stay above 36 points per game for the season, he would be the first player to do so since Michael Jordan averaged 37.1 in 1986-87.

James Harden was frustrated with the Houston Rockets' defensive display as they were beaten by the Memphis Grizzlies in overtime on Wednesday.

The Rockets trailed by 19 at the start of the fourth quarter after allowing the Grizzlies to steadily build their advantage at Toyota Center.

Belatedly, Houston rallied to force overtime but they were unable to complete an unlikely victory as the Grizzlies held on to a 126-125 triumph.

Harden scored 15 points in the final quarter and 10 in overtime as he amassed 57 in the match, but it proved in vain as the Rockets slumped to defeat.

"We put ourselves in a hole, we tried to pick it up but it was too late," Harden told reporters.

"[In the fourth quarter] I was just being aggressive, we were down 20 so I had to do something."

But there were some positives for Harden, who believes the fightback bodes well for the rest of the Rockets' season.

"We weren't doing anything [in the first three quarters]," he added. "Defensively we gave them what they want, offensively we weren't aggressive.

"In the fourth quarter and overtime we played well.

"If we play the way we played in the fourth quarter and overtime defensively, we'll be alright."

Houston Rockets star James Harden became the first NBA player to score 30 or more points against all 29 opponents in a single season.

Harden posted 31 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds in the Rockets' 121-105 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday.

The reigning MVP's performance saw him make more NBA history as the Rockets extended their winning streak to three games.

Harden is having a historic season – averaging 35.8 points, 7.7 assists and 6.4 rebounds while shooting 43.5 per cent from the field and 35.5 per cent from three-point range.

The 29-year-old guard poured in 30 or more points in 32 consecutive games from mid-December to late February, a mark topped only by Wilt Chamberlain.

The Rockets improved to 45-26 with the win in Atlanta. They finished play on Tuesday sitting third in the Western Conference standings.

 

James Harden believes the Houston Rockets' defeat to the Golden State Warriors can help them in the long run, despite it ending their nine-game winning streak.

The Rockets were beaten 106-104 at Toyota Center on Wednesday, their first reverse since February 21 against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Harden recorded a double-double in the defeat as he scored 29 points, three rebounds and 10 assists, but ultimately it was not enough.

However, he urged his team-mates not to be too downhearted as they enter the run-in to the NBA postseason.

"It's alright, we lost, we know we did. A good thing about it is we play a game on Friday. I mean, listen, it's [just] one loss," said Harden.

"We fought the entire game, it's just you're playing against a good team like that [and] you've got to play hard and smart.

"Mentally we had a couple of lapses early in the game, especially in the first and second quarter, that gave them some open looks and that was it.

"[But] we locked in and we got stops and we knew who they were guarding. We wanted to score, it should have been that way the entire game. Give them credit they made shots and played well.

"We made a lot of mistakes, but we're never going to give up. We fought back until the last second and that's what it is. 

"We'll look at film, try to get better and move on to Phoenix on Friday and try to get better in every single game until the postseason.

"It was a good game for us, we didn't come out with the win but [it's a] learning experience."

One aspect Harden feels the Rockets need to work on is their rebounding, something he believes will be crucial if they want to go far in the playoffs.

He added: "As a team we've got to rebound the basketball [better]. We're so good once we rebound the basketball and get out in transition.

"But it makes it difficult no matter who we're playing, if you don't give a team second-chance opportunities."

The struggling Dallas Mavericks pushed the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA on Tuesday.

The Mavericks' playoff hopes are dashed as they sit bottom of the Western Conference, but they are still playing with plenty of fight as they closely trailed the Spurs until the final seconds.

Dallas were two possessions away from catching the visiting San Antonio squad when rookie Luka Doncic was fouled. He missed a pair of free throws that would have helped the Mavs inch closer and they ultimately fell 112-105 to the Spurs at the American Airlines Center.

Doncic finished a minus-nine with 12 points, six rebounds and seven assists. He also went one of nine from the free-throw line, marking the first time a player has hit that number since Shaquille O'Neal in 2004.

The Mavs cut their deficit to as little as three points three times in the fourth quarter, but they could not stop the streaking Spurs, who won their sixth straight game. DeMar DeRozan led the efforts with a team-high 33 points.

Jalen Brunson led the Mavs with a career-high 34 points in their losing effort.

The Spurs are the seventh seed in the West. The Utah Jazz trail by half a game as the eighth seed and the next contender, the Sacramento Kings, are 4.5 games behind San Antonio.

 

Brilliant Bogdanovic

Bojan Bogdanovic's 24 points led the Indiana Pacers to a 103-98 victory over the New York Knicks. He also tallied four rebounds and two assists in front of a home crowd.

In the Pelicans' losing efforts, Elfrid Payton recorded his third triple-double of the season with 14 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists. New Orleans dropped their fourth consecutive game in a 130-113 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Ben Simmons had 26 points in the Philadelphia 76ers' 106-99 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. 

 

Knox can't lift Knicks

Knicks rookie Kevin Knox had his highest points total (16) since late February, but the buckets just were not enough for New York as they fell to the Pacers. Knox left the court with a minus-15.

 

King James

Hello, King James. LeBron James finished a steal with a massive dunk off the backboard. He had 36 points, 10 rebounds and four assists to lead the Lakers to a 123-107 win against the Bulls in Chicago.

During the Denver Nuggets' matchup against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Nikola Jokic finished a play barely breaking a sweat.

Tuesday's results

Indiana Pacers 103-98 New York Knicks
Philadelphia 76ers 106-99 Cleveland Cavaliers
Los Angeles Lakers 123-107 Chicago Bulls
San Antonio Spurs 112-105 Dallas Mavericks
Milwaukee Bucks 130-113 New Orleans Pelicans
Denver Nuggets 133-107 Minnesota Timberwolves
Portland Trail Blazers 125-104 Los Angeles Clippers

 

Warriors at Rockets

The Golden State Warriors will take on the third-seeded Rockets in Houston. But, they will be without star Kevin Durant, who led the team with 29 points the last time these two met. In that contest, James Harden did not see the court but the Rockets started a nine-game winning streak which they will hope to extend against the best team in the West.

Houston Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni had no interest in hyping up Wednesday's game against the Golden State Warriors, despite Stephen Curry targeting the matchup as "an opportunity to send a statement".

The Rockets have won nine consecutive games in the NBA, while champions the Warriors have lost six of their last 10 - including a reverse at the hands of Houston.

Those contrasting runs have built anticipation ahead of this week's big clash and Curry added extra weight to that when he outlined Golden State's plans to halt the Rockets.

But with Curry speaking after a defeat to the Phoenix Suns, D'Antoni joked that the Warriors might have been better off focusing on that game first.

"Yeah, well, they should have probably said it before the game," he quipped.

D'Antoni added that he was not overly concerned by any conversation around the meeting with Golden State, though, believing that there is a demand for such matchups to be needlessly talked up in the NBA.

"I'm sure they are [wanting to send a statement]," he said. "Why wouldn't they? I'd be surprised if they didn't feel that way.

"They were going to make a statement. They were going to come out, they were going to play. They probably stated the obvious. If they didn't say anything, I'm sure they're thinking it.

"You know how today is. Everybody's got something to say. I've got something to say."

Rockets star James Harden was similarly dismissive of the opportunity to talk about the Warriors after a 118-106 victory over the Charlotte Hornets.

"I don't know how [the Warriors] feel," he said, having scored 28 points. "All I'm worried about is what's in this locker room."

Luka Doncic injured his knee in the Dallas Mavericks' loss to the Houston Rockets on Sunday and coach Rick Carlisle hopes it is not serious.

Rookie of the Year frontrunner Doncic hurt himself in grabbing an uncontested rebound and limped off the court for a timeout with just over four minutes left in the final quarter.

The Slovenian guard remained in the game but was unable to get up the final shot as the Mavericks fell to a 94-93 defeat against the in-form Rockets.

Doncic attracted three defenders and passed to Jalen Brunson, but Chris Paul came up with a game-winning block for Houston.

The Mavericks slipped to 27-39 for the season and Carlisle was hopeful Doncic had not done any serious damage.

"I don't know if he banged his knee or he landed on it funny, but the hope is that it's not serious. He did finish the game, so we'll see. We'll know more [on Monday]," he said.

Doncic, who recorded his 17th double-double with 19 points and 15 rebounds, initially said his knee was good before expanding on the situation.

"I just jumped and got a rebound and I felt like a pop, so we'll see," he said.

Despite playing through injury in the closing minutes, Doncic drew praise from Rockets duo James Harden and Paul.

"He's great. Not only does he have the ability to score the basketball but he's a great passer as well," said Harden.

"He uses his body very well, rebounds the ball, he does a lot of things to impact the game. With this only being his first year, he's got a long way to go but he's definitely having a great start."

Paul added of Doncic: "Rookie of the Year, definitely. He's probably the frontrunner. Trae [Young] has been playing really well too. Both of them are great players and they will be for a long time."

James Harden is expected to be fit for the Houston Rockets' clash with the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.

The Rockets had a scare when star guard went down with a wrist injury in Friday's victory against the Philadelphia 76ers.

However, the NBA MVP is set to face the Mavericks after getting the all clear to practice on Saturday following an X-ray.

"I was worried, but I'm happy it wasn't [bad news]." Harden is quoted as saying by the Houston Chronicle.

Harden, who recorded a double-double in the 107-91 win over the 76ers with 31 points and 10 rebounds, fell in the first half and briefly exited the game. 

He first injured his wrist last Sunday in a win over the Boston Celtics and aggravated it during a seventh consecutive win for the Rockets.

Harden leads the NBA in scoring with 36.6 points a game and has been a staple in one of the league's top offenses.

 

Houston Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni and guard Chris Paul remained relaxed over an injury scare for James Harden in their victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.

Harden briefly exited Friday's game during the first half after landing heavily on his right wrist, which was already sore from previous falls.

The MVP candidate, a prolific source of points for the Rockets throughout the season, was able to return and contributed 31 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in an emphatic 107-91 win.

After the game, Harden reportedly had a precautionary X-ray on his injured wrist, but neither D'Antoni nor Paul appeared too concerned by the issue when they addressed the media.

Asked if his heart had skipped a beat when Harden hit the floor, D'Antoni said: "Oh yeah. Well, it always does. But he's a pretty tough guy.

"[He's] dealing with pain [in the wrist], I guess. I don't know, he just fell on it. He's fallen on it before and is sore, so there was some pain there and then this just aggravated it."

Paul told reporters: "The way he plays, he's always hitting the ground, whether it's a foul or just contact or what not, so we trusted that he was going [to] be alright.

"If he needs to take a game or two off, we got it. But we need him."

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James passed Hall of Famer Michael Jordan for fourth on the NBA's all-time scoring list.

While Wednesday's feat is nothing to scoff at, our friends at Opta would like to remind everyone of a handful of other all-time leaderboards undergoing a makeover.

Here are five milestones to keep an eye out for in the final weeks of the NBA season:

 

Kevin Durant — Career 30-point games

Durant's next game with 30 or more points will be his 300th. The Golden State Warriors star would be the 14th NBA player to reach the milestone and the fifth-youngest player to hit the mark if he does it within the next three weeks (which seems likely).

1. Michael Jordan - 562
2. Wilt Chamberlain - 515
3. LeBron James - 442
4. Karl Malone - 435
5. Kobe Bryant - 431
6. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - 429
7. Oscar Robertson - 387
8. Jerry West - 350
9. Dominique Wilkins - 346
10. Allen Iverson - 345
11. Elgin Baylor - 343
12. Adrian Dantley - 314
13. Shaquille O'Neal - 313
14. Kevin Durant - 299
15. George Gervin - 297

 

Dirk Nowitzki — Career points

Nowitzki (31,364) needs 56 points to pass Wilt Chamberlain for the fifth-most all time and one more game played to pass John Stockton for the third-most all time.

The Dallas Mavericks veteran will surpass Stockton if he takes the floor on Friday against the Chicago Bulls. If he continues his scoring pace of 5.4 points per game, Nowitzki should pass Chamberlain on the scoring list away to the Miami Heat on March 28.

1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - 38,387
2. Karl Malone - 36,928
3. Kobe Bryant - 33,643
4. LeBron James - 32,311
5. Michael Jordan - 32,292
6. Wilt Chamberlain - 31,419
7. Dirk Nowitzki - 31,364

 

Chris Paul — Career assists

Paul (9,050) needs only 12 assists to pass Isiah Thomas for the seventh most all time. The Houston Rockets star is averaging 8.3 per game, so expect him to move past Thomas on the road against the Mavericks on Sunday — that is if he does not have a vintage performance at home to the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday.

1. John Stockton - 15,806
2. Jason Kidd - 12,091
3. Steve Nash - 10,335
4. Mark Jackson - 10,334
5. Magic Johnson - 10,141
6. Oscar Robertson - 9,887
7. Isiah Thomas - 9,061
8. Chris Paul - 9,050
9. Gary Payton - 8,966
10. LeBron James - 8,584

 

James Harden — Career triple-doubles

Harden (41) needs three triple-doubles to move ahead of Fat Lever for the eighth most in league history.

However, Houston Rockets superstar Harden will never pass Lever for the best name in NBA history.

Larry Bird would be Harden's next target at 59 career triple-doubles.

 

Russell Westbrook — Career triple-doubles

Westbrook (129) requires 10 more triple-doubles to pass Magic Johnson for the second most in league history.

The Oklahoma City Thunder have 18 games remaining in the regular season, but let's remember what Westbrook has accomplished since the beginning of the 2016-17 season. He has made Johnson's number reachable this term and Oscar Robertson's league record of 181 firmly in play next season.

1. Oscar Robertson 181
2. Magic Johnson 138
3. Russell Westbrook 129
4. Jason Kidd 107
5. LeBron James 79
6. Wilt Chamberlain 78
7. Larry Bird 59
8. Fat Lever 43
9. James Harden 41
10. Bob Cousy 33

James Harden led the way as the Houston Rockets extended their winning streak with a 107-95 victory against the high-flying Toronto Raptors, while the struggling Boston Celtics claimed a confidence-boosting win over the Golden State Warriors.

Harden scored 19 of his 35 points in the final quarter to see the Rockets past the Raptors for their sixth successive NBA win on Tuesday.

The Raptors were able to combat the 18-point deficit they faced at half-time. Toronto scored 26 points off turnovers to Houston's four, but were easily outmatched when it came to fast break scoring.

Kawhi Leonard led Toronto with 26 points on 10-of-22 shooting, while Serge Ibaka totalled 10 points and 15 rebounds in his double-double effort.

The Raptors have lost two games in a row and are second in the Eastern Conference standings. Houston improved to 39-25 for the season in the west.

As for the Celtics, they took a step in the right direction after upstaging reigning champions the Warriors 128-95.

Boston entered Tuesday having lost five of their last six games but blitzed the Warriors on the road.

Gordon Hayward's 30 points on 12-of-16 shooting led all scorers. On the other side, Stephen Curry poured in 23 points for the Warriors.

 

Redick sparks 76ers

JJ Redick scored 26 points and made six three-pointers in the Philadelphia 76ers' 114-106 victory over the Orlando Magic.

Karl-Anthony Towns posted 41 points and 14 rebounds as Minnesota Timberwolves took down the Oklahoma City Thunder 131-120.

Mike Conley torched the Portland Trail Blazers for 40 points in the Memphis Grizzlies' 120-111 win.

 

Porter fails to produce

Otto Porter Jr. contributed seven points on three-of-11 shooting as the Chicago Bulls fell short to the Indiana Pacers 105-96.

 

Towns silences Thunder

Towns took flight in the Timberwolves' victory.

Zach LaVine split the defense and attacked the rim for a powerful dunk over Myles Turner.

 

Tuesday's results

Philadelphia 76ers 114-106 Orlando Magic
Indiana Pacers 105-96 Chicago Bulls
Memphis Grizzlies 120-111 Portland Trail Blazers
Minnesota Timberwolves 131-120 Oklahoma City Thunder
Houston Rockets 107-95 Toronto Raptors
Boston Celtics 128-95 Golden State Warriors

 

Nuggets at Lakers

The Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers have been sluggish as of late. Both teams have lost three straight games. But the Nuggets are second in the Western Conference, while the Lakers are 10th and out of the playoff picture.

James Harden feels the Houston Rockets have finally hit their stride and have done so at an opportune moment.

The Rockets secured their fifth straight win and ninth in their past 12 by overcoming the Boston Celtics 115-104 at TD Garden on Sunday, with Harden dropping 42 points.

Center Clint Capela is working his way back to full fitness after a thumb injury and Chris Paul has put together a strong run of minutes after a hamstring issue that caused him to miss 17 games.

Reigning MVP Harden now feels things are coming together for Houston, who sit fifth in the Western Conference at 38-25, six games back from the Golden State Warriors at the top of the standings.

"It feels really, really good to kind of have a full roster and catch a rhythm, and this is a perfect time for it," said Harden.

"We're still in fifth place with an opportunity to climb even higher. That's all you can ask for. A lot of teams in that top spot in both conferences haven't really had to go through adversity, so it feels good.

"We haven't had an opportunity to push, push, push. This is a perfect time to push, push, push and catch a groove going into the postseason.

"Throughout the course of the year, we've been having a lot of injuries, a lot of ups and downs, but we're finally catching a rhythm on both ends of the floor, and it feels great.

"We're finally healthy, and it feels good. We're winning, guys know their roles, we're executing defensively, we're helping each other out, we're talking - that's what it's all about."

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