Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers are trying to to make the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference theirs.
Lillard was fantastic throughout his 45-point performance Thursday in a victory over the Denver Nuggets that moved Portland within a half-game of the Memphis Grizzlies.
With Memphis struggling to win a game inside the Orlando bubble, Portland could be locked in a showdown with the Phoenix Suns for the final spot in the 16-team playoff field.
The Suns produced their fourth win in a row Thursday over the Indiana Pacers, who were the last unbeaten team in Orlando from the Eastern Conference.
Sacramento also gained ground with a win over New Orleans, but it remains behind Portland and Phoenix with four games completed.
Milwaukee, Houston and the Los Angeles Clippers continued to get in prime shape for the postseason with victories in hard-fought battles with playoff qualifiers.
August 6 NBA Results, Stats, Top Highlights
Sacramento 140, New Orleans 125
Bogdan Bogdanovic (SAC): 35 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists
De'Aaron Fox (SAC): 30 PTS, 10 AST, 3 REB
Brandon Ingram (NO): 24 PTS, 3 REB, 3 AST
Zion Williamson (NO): 24 PTS, 2 REB, 2 AST
Sacramento's first win in the Orlando bubble pushed it ahead of New Orleans in the hunt for final Western Conference playoff position.
Bogdan Bogdanovic went off for a career-high 35 points, with 19 of them coming in the second quarter. He set a career best for three-pointers in a period by knocking down five in the second.
The Serbian shooting guard was four points shy of tying his total points mark from the first three games combined. He posted 39 points in losses to San Antonio, Dallas and Orlando.
De'Aaron Fox's second 30-point game in Orlando provided support for Bogdanovic's game high total.
Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson both contributed 24 points in the defeat, but it was not good enough for New Orleans to break its poor run of form in the bubble. The Pelicans are 1-3 since the resumption of play.
New Orleans' loss combined with Phoenix's win over Indiana dropped the Pelicans into 13th place in the West.
Phoenix 114, Indiana 99
Deandre Ayton (PHO): 23 PTS, 10 REB
Devin Booker (PHO): 20 PTS, 10 AST, 3 REB
Cameron Johnson (PHO): 14 PTS, 12 REB
Malcolm Brogdon (IND): 25 PTS, 6 REB, 6 AST
T.J. Warren (IND): 16 PTS, 11 REB
Phoenix's incredible run in Orlando continued with a win over former Suns player T.J. Warren and the Pacers.
The Suns found a solution to slowing down Warren, who was held to his bubble low of 16 points.
Phoenix broke the game open with 17-0 run in the first quarter that featured five points from Ricky Rubio.
Cameron Payne came off the bench to headline a 21-0 run in the third and fourth quarters.
Booker and Deandre Ayton once again filled the scoring column for the Suns, but their supporting cast was crucial to Thursday's victory.
Seven players reached double digits, while Mikal Bridges and others played well on defense to stymie the red-hot Warren.
Milwaukee 130, Miami 116
Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL): 33 PTS, 12 REB, 4 AST
Khris Middleton (MIL): 33 PTS, 8 AST, 6 REB
Tyler Herro (MIA): 20 PTS, 5 AST, 4 REB
The Bucks secured the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference by way of a come-from-behind win over Miami.
At one point, Milwaukee was down 23 points, but it rallied and surged past the Heat in the fourth quarter. The 14-point margin of victory was the largest for a team that was down 20 or more points in a game this season, per ESPN Stats and Info:
Giannis Antetokounmpo produced a double-double and tied Khris Middleton for the team's highest point total at 33.
Miami raced out to the lead thanks to some tremendous three-point shooting, including a first-half buzzer-beater from Bam Adebayo.
The Heat shot 21-of-46 from three-point range, but their defense failed to keep Milwaukee's two stars at bay for most of the second half.
Miami is still in decent shape to hold on to the No. 4 seed after Indiana lost to Phoenix, but it needs to avoid alternating wins and losses in its final four games to hold off the Pacers and Philadelphia.
Los Angeles Clippers 126, Dallas 111
Kawhi Leonard (LAC): 29 PTS, 6 REB, 5 AST
Ivica Zubac (LAC): 21 PTS, 15 REB, 1 AST
Kristaps Porzingis (DAL): 30 PTS, 9 REB, 5 AST
Luka Doncic (DAL): 29 PTS, 6 AST, 3 REB
The Los Angeles Clippers broke away from the Dallas Mavericks through a 9-0 run in the middle of the fourth quarter.
Ivica Zubac, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Marcus Morris each recorded a basket in that span to earn the team's second win in Orlando and ease the pressure between itself and Denver in the race for the No. 2 seed.
Leonard and George were their normal selves on the offensive end, combining for 53 points.
Zubac was the key behind the two superstars in the scoring column, making all 10 of his field goals on the way to 21 points. He also hauled in 15 rebounds.
Kristaps Porzingis and Luka Doncic paired for 59 of Dallas' 111 points, but they did not receive similar support to the Clippers' stars since no other Mavericks eclipsed the 15-point mark.
Portland 125, Denver 115
Damian Lillard (POR): 45 PTS, 12 AST, 4 REB
Gary Trent Jr. (POR): 27 PTS, 4 AST, 3 REB
Jusuf Nurkic (POR): 22 PTS, 7 REB, 4 AST
Michael Porter Jr. (DEN): 27 PTS, 12 REB, 2 AST
Lillard was on fire from three-point range in the 10-point win over Denver. He tied his career high with 11 three-pointers in a single game.
The Blazers guard made three fewer triples than Denver did as a team, and the Nuggets did not have a player hit more than four shots from beyond the arc.
Lillard once again received support off the bench from Gary Trent Jr., who posted 27 points. Trent has eclipsed 15 points in each of the four Orlando games.
Michael Porter Jr. attempted to counter Lillard's production with 27 points, 12 of which came from three-point range.
But Porter did not receive enough down low from Nikola Jokic, who failed to hit double digits in the scoring column in his matchup against Jusuf Nurkic.
Houston 113, Los Angeles Lakers 96
James Harden (HOU): 39 PTS, 12 AST, 8 REB
Ben McLemore (HOU): 20 PTS, 4 REB
Kyle Kuzma (LAL): 21 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST
Anthony Davis (LAL): 17 PTS, 12 REB, 3 AST
Houston rebounded from its loss to Portland by knocking off the Los Angeles Lakers, who were playing without LeBron James.
The Lakers got within five points of the Rockets, who were missing Russell Westbrook, at the start of the fourth quarter, but James Harden and the Rockets starters went back on the court and finished off the victory.
Harden produced his second-best point total in Orlando with 39 off five three-pointers and six other field goals.
Harden's 39 points and 12 assists marked the first time he recorded a double-double since March 7.
The Rockets owned a massive advantage over the Lakers from three-point range; they made 21 shots from downtown compared to two from their opponent.
Anthony Davis only had 17 points in 29 minutes, and he did not play most of the fourth quarter as the Lakers rested him and gave players off the bench more playing time.
Updated Playoff Picture
1. Milwaukee (55-14)
2. Toronto (49-18)
3. Boston (45-23)
4. Miami (43-26)
5. Indiana (42-27)
6. Philadelphia (41-27)
7. Brooklyn (32-36)
8. Orlando (32-37)
9. Washington (24-44)
1. Los Angeles Lakers (51-17)
2. Los Angeles Clippers (46-22)
3. Denver (45-24)
4. Houston (43-25)
5. Utah (43-25)
6. Oklahoma City (42-25)
7. Dallas (41-30)
8. Memphis (32-37)
9. Portland (32-38)
10. Phoenix (30-39)
11. San Antonio (29-38)
12. Sacramento (29-29)
13. New Orleans (29-39)
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Statistics obtained from ESPN.com.