NBA's Top Stats, Best Highlights, Updated Playoff Picture from Aug. 7 Results

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistAugust 8, 2020

Memphis Grizzlies' Ja Morant (12) makes his way down the court during an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans Monday, Aug. 3, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)
Ashley Landis/Associated Press

One playoff berth is left to be clinched inside the NBA's bubble in Orlando, Florida

The Memphis Grizzlies hold the inside track to land the Western Conference's No. 8 seed after it corrected its poor form with a victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder Friday. 

San Antonio and New Orleans also earned victories Friday to keep pressure on Memphis and Portland, who currently sits in ninth place. 

The final two playoff berths in the Eastern Conference were handed out to the Brooklyn Nets and Orlando Magic. 

Brooklyn clinched its postseason spot after a win over Sacramento, while Orlando landed its berth by way of Washington's fifth consecutive defeat. 

Philadelphia made an impact in its seeding race, as it overcame some early struggles to beat the Magic and move level with Indiana in the hunt for the East's No. 5 seed. 

Boston controlled the final matchup of the six-game slate against Toronto, but it is still 3.5 games back of the Raptors with the seeding games dwindling down in central Florida. 

               

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

August 7 Results, Stats and Highlights

San Antonio 119, Utah 111

Derrick White (SA): 24 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists

Jakob Poeltl (SA): 19 PTS, 10 REB, 2 AST

Jordan Clarkson (UTA): 24 PTS, 4 AST, 2 REB

     

Derrick White led the Spurs to a vital win in the hunt for eighth place against a depleted Utah Jazz squad. 

Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell, Mike Conley and Royce O'Neale did not play for Utah, and Joe Ingles featured for 17 minutes. 

White has been one of the best guards inside the bubble, and he produced another 24 points in Friday's victory. 

The Colorado product has four 20-point performances for Gregg Popovich's team in Orlando. Friday's number was two points off his highest total since the resumption of play. 

Jordan Clarkson was one of the few Utah regulars who received a normal dose of playing time. He produced 24 points off the bench for Quin Snyder's side. 

Miye Oni, Emmanuel Mudiay and Tony Bradley all reached double digits for Utah, who dropped to 2-3 in Orlando. 

San Antonio is two games back of eighth-place Memphis and one game behind ninth-place Portland, who currently has a game in hand.

           

Memphis 121, Oklahoma City 92

Dillon Brooks (MEM): 22 PTS, 6 REB, 4 AST

Jonas Valanciunas (MEM): 19 PTS, 11 REB, 2 AST

Ja Morant (MEM): 19 PTS, 9 REB, 4 AST

Chris Paul (OKC): 17 PTS, 5 REB, 5 AST

     

Memphis finally earned its first win in the bubble Friday. 

Ja Morant was one rebound away from a double-double in his showdown with Chris Paul and Oklahoma City. 

The Rookie of the Year candidate put on a show throughout the contest to revive Memphis' hopes of earning the No. 8 seed. 

Jonas Valancuinas recorded a double-double, which was his 36th of the campaign, as he thrived in the paint with Steven Adams out for the Thunder. 

In a 13-game span dating back to February 26, Valancuinas has 11 double-doubles. The only games in which he did not produce at that level was the bubble opener against Portland and a March game against Brooklyn.

With three games remaining, the Grizzlies hold a one-game advantage on Portland and lead San Antonio by two games.

Due to their poor start, the Grizzlies will not be able to clinch the No. 8 seed outright. A play-in series will occur if the No. 9 seed is within four games of the eighth-place side. 

              

Brooklyn 119, Sacramento 106

Caris LeVert (BKN): 22 PTS, 7 AST, 5 REB

Joe Harris (BKN): 21 PTS, 4 REB, 4 AST

Jarrett Allen (BKN): 17 PTS, 11 REB, 8 AST

Bogdan Bogdanovic (SAC): 27 PTS, 6 REB, 2 AST

De'Aaron Fox (SAC): 21 PTS, 7 AST, 2 REB

     

Jarrett Allen was two assists away from recording a triple-double in Brooklyn's playoff-clinching win over Sacramento. 

The Nets are now guaranteed to finish in either seventh or eighth place. 

Caris LeVert produced 19 of his 22 points in the first half. Brooklyn rallied from down three after the first quarter to up 10 by halftime. 

Despite all of their absences, the Nets have put up at least 115 points in five straight games, which ties the longest streak with that many points in franchise history, per ESPN Stats & Info:

Sacramento did not go down without a fight, as Bogdan Bogdanovic and De'Aaron Fox once again eclipsed the 20-point mark.

The Kings need to win out and receive some help to overtake Portland, San Antonio and Phoenix to earn a spot in the West play-in series. 

         

Philadelphia 108, Orlando 101

Joel Embiid (PHI): 23 PTS, 13 REB

Tobias Harris (PHI): 23 PTS, 15 REB, 4 AST

Alec Burks (PHI): 22 PTS, 4 REB, 2 AST

Evan Fournier (ORL): 22 PTS, 3 REB, 3 AST

Nikola Vucevic (ORL): 21 PTS, 12 REB, 3 AST

      

Philadelphia performed at its best in the fourth quarter to close out an upset-minded Orlando team. 

The Sixers entered the final stanza with a two-point advantage and outscored the Magic by seven in the fourth. 

Joel Embiid controlled his paint battle against Nikola Vucevic and others by putting up 23 points and 13 rebounds. 

Tobias Harris continued his strong run in the bubble with his third 20-point outing in the last four contests. He also produced his first double-double since March 5. 

With Ben Simmons out injured, Alec Burks turned in 22 points off the bench, and Matisse Thybulle came up with a few important plays. 

Orlando received 20-point outings from Vucevic and Evan Fournier, but it could not match Philadelphia's scoring depth. The Sixers had four players with 21 points or more. 

         

New Orleans 118, Washington 107

Jrue Holiday (NO): 28 PTS, 6 AST, 3 REB

Brandon Ingram (NO): 17 PTS, 5 AST, 4 REB

Rui Hachimura (WSH): 23 PTS, 6 REB, 2 AST

Thomas Bryant (WSH): 22 PTS, 8 REB

     

New Orleans eliminated Washington from playoff contention by earning a much-needed win in its own playoff hunt. 

Jrue Holiday stepped into a starring role for the Pelicans, as he produced 28 points while shooting 11-for-16 and totaled six assists, three rebounds and a pair of steals. 

Brandon Ingram turned in another solid game with 17 points, but only one other New Orleans player was able to reach 15 points with Zion Williamson out of the lineup.

Washington fought hard until the end, with Rui Hachimura and Thomas Bryant once again starring in the paint, but it could not muster enough to stay alive in the East playoff race. 

The Wizards have three more attempts to win their first game in the bubble. They close with Oklahoma City, Milwaukee and Boston. 

        

Boston 122, Toronto 100

Jaylen Brown (BOS): 20 PTS, 6 REB, 2 AST

Jayson Tatum (BOS): 18 PTS, 7 REB, 4 AST

Fred VanVleet (TOR): 13 PTS, 4 REB, 4 AST

      

Boston asserted its dominance over Toronto with terrific three-point shooting. 

The Celtics knocked down 16 three-point shots and blew the game open by outscoring the Raptors 39-20 in the third stanza.

Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum combined to hit six shots from downtown, and both contributed in other parts of the stat column as well.

Brown delivered the pass of the night, as he picked out Gordon Hayward from across the court for a layup. 

Toronto struggled to match Boston's three-point output. The Raptors' five starters went 3-for-19 from three-point range. 

The Raptors are still in good position to land the No. 2 seed, but they have a trio of tough tests left against Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Denver.

           

Updated Playoff Picture

Eastern Conference 

1. Milwaukee (55-14)

2. Toronto (49-19)

3. Boston (46-23)

4. Miami (43-26)

5. Indiana (42-27)

6. Philadelphia (42-27)

7. Brooklyn (33-36)

8. Orlando (32-38)

9. Washington (24-45)

      

Western Conference

1. Los Angeles Lakers (51-17)

2. Los Angeles Clippers (46-22)

3. Denver (45-24)

4. Houston (43-25)

5. Utah (43-26)

6. Oklahoma City (42-26)

7. Dallas (41-30)

8. Memphis (33-37)

9. Portland (32-38)

10. San Antonio (30-38)

11. New Orleans (30-39)

12. Phoenix (30-39)

13. Sacramento (29-40)

       

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90

Statistics obtained from ESPN.com