LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Former Missouri and Tolton High School standout Michael Porter Jr. finished with 11 points, five rebounds, two assists, one steal, one block and one turnover as he and fellow Denver starters Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray sat at the fourth quarter of a 124-111 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.
L.A. clinched the second-best record in the Western Conference with the win, ensuring a first-round postseason matchup next week against seventh-seeded Dallas.
For its part, Denver will finish with the West's third seed and face Utah in the first round.
The Clippers (48-23) trailed by eight after a listless first half, but a 22-7 run during the third quarter and Denver's decision to sit Porter, Jokic and Murray down the stretch helped them pull away and set a playoff date with the Mavericks.
Paul George finished with a game-high 27 points, his sixth consecutive game with at least 20 points, and Kawhi Leonard finished with 26 points, his 11th consecutive game with at least 20.
Carroll, Rockets fall to Pacers despite rally
Myles Turner had 18 points, reserve Edmond Sumner added a season-high 17 and Indiana held off a late rally by Houston and James Harden to break a five-game losing streak to the Rockets, winning 108-104.
Former Missouri forward DeMarre Carroll chipped in with three points, three assists, three rebounds and a steal in a losing effort for the Rockets.
It looked as if the Pacers had locked up the win when they went up 104-90 with 5:05 remaining. That’s when Harden got Houston going, cutting it to 106-104 on with a driving basket with 27 seconds to go.
Harden had 11 of Houston’s 14 points during the surge. Harden had 45 points and tied his career high with 17 rebounds. He came an assist shy of his fifth triple-double this season. It was Harden’s 21st game this season with 40 points or more.
But after Victor Oladipo missed a 3-pointer, Turner tipped out the rebound to Justin Holiday with six seconds left. Holiday hit two foul shots to finish off Indiana’s first victory over Houston since February 2017.
O.G. Anunoby sits out regular season finale vs. 76ers
With Toronto locked into the second slot in the Eastern Conference playoffs, the Raptors rested some of their usual starters as they dealt with minor injuries, including Jefferson City graduate O.G. Anunoby.
He missed the Raptors' 125-121 win over the Philadelphia 76ers because of a knee injury.
It’s the second missed game of the season for Anunoby, who has played in 69 games and started 68. He is averaging 10.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists this season.