Dirk Nowitzki scored 25 points last night to lead Dallas past the host San Antonio Spurs, 93-72, giving the Mavericks their first 60-win season.
The victory ensured that Dallas, the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference, will have a home-court advantage if it reaches the second round of the playoffs. The Mavericks' first-round opponent is the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Spurs clinched the top seed in the conference on Monday and played without two starters. Tim Duncan and Stephen Jackson were placed on the injured list yesterday, but both will be in uniform when the Spurs open their first-round series against Phoenix this weekend.
Leading by four at the half, Dallas quickly built its margin into double digits in the third quarter behind Nowitzki's eight points in the period. The Spurs, who shot only 36 percent on the night, got no closer than 12 in the final period.
Shawn Bradley scored 15 points and Nick Van Exel added 14 for the Mavericks, while Nowitzki had 10 rebounds and Steve Nash passed for 10 assists.
* TIMBERWOLVES 95, GRIZZLIES 87: Minnesota clinched home-court advantage in the opening round of the playoffs for the first time in its history with a victory in Memphis.
Kevin Garnett had 19 points, 16 rebounds and 8 assists to lead Minnesota, which ended the season 51-31 to take the No. 4 spot in the Western Conference. Their opponent will be the Los Angeles Lakers.
Getting home court, for at least one round, gives the Timberwolves a fighting chance in the packed West. Minnesota has never made it to the second round of the playoffs, getting eliminated six straight times.
Garnett capped a sensational regular season with his league-leading 63rd double-double.
* CELTICS 99, PISTONS 92: Tony Delk scored 17 points before sitting out the fourth quarter with the rest of the starters as host Boston tuned up for the playoffs with a win over Detroit, the top team in the Eastern Conference.
Detroit, the No. 1 seed in the East, will open the playoffs against Orlando, which lost its finale to Milwaukee, to finish eighth. The Celtics had previously clinched the sixth spot in the East, and they will play at Indiana.
"Indiana's very deep and physical," said Antoine Walker, who scored 10 points and sat out the fourth quarter, like all of Boston's starters. "They're young, but they have veteran leadership."
With little on the line, both teams' starters spent a lot of time on the bench and Detroit all-star Ben Wallace went on the injured list to rest his sprained left knee for the postseason. He is expected to be ready for the playoff opener.
* PACERS 90, NETS 83: Al Harrington finished one assist shy of his first triple-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds, as host Indiana secured third place in the Eastern Conference.
The Pacers had already earned home-court advantage in the first round but needed a victory or a Philadelphia loss to gain a spot in the standings. Indiana will play Boston and New Jersey faces Milwaukee this weekend.
The Nets clinched the Atlantic Division on Tuesday and rested their starters for most of the game. Jason Kidd and Kenyon Martin each scored 11 points in 21 minutes.
* HORNETS 92, HAWKS 77: Baron Davis scored 21 points as host New Orleans finished the regular season with a five-game winning streak.
Jamal Mashburn had 15 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds for his third career triple-double.
Other than extending their winning streak, the Hornets had little to play for after a Philadelphia victory earlier in the night guaranteed New Orleans would finish fifth in the Eastern Conference and begin the playoffs on the road. The Hornets will play the 76ers.
* CAVALIERS 96, RAPTORS 86: Cleveland would have helped itself with a loss. For Lenny Wilkens, the outcome probably didn't matter.
Rookie Tierre Brown had 16 points and nine assists for the Cavaliers (17-65), who finished the season tied with the Denver Nuggets for the NBA's worst record.
The Cavs and Nuggets will have an equal number of Ping-Pong balls (225) in the lottery and therefore the best odds of getting the No. 1 pick, expected to be Akron high school star LeBron James.
Meantime, Wilkens has likely coached his final game for the Raptors (24-58).
The 65-year-old coach is expected to be fired by Toronto General Manager Glen Grunwald.
* ROCKETS 89, NUGGETS 84: Steve Francis had 17 points and nine assists, and Yao Ming had 13 points and 16 rebounds as Houston won in Denver.
Houston won three straight and five of seven to close out the season but missed the playoffs for the fourth straight year.
Denver lost eight straight and 14 of 17 to end its eighth consecutive losing season.
* KINGS 95, JAZZ 84: Chris Webber scored 15 points, and Bobby Jackson had nine points in the fourth quarter as host Sacramento beat Utah in a low-key preview of their upcoming playoff meeting.
The Jazz and the Kings will begin their third playoff series in five years this weekend in Sacramento. Both teams played the regular season finale conservatively, with reserves getting ample minutes into the tight fourth quarter.
* SUPERSONICS 84, SUNS 70: Ray Allen scored 19 as host Seattle topped Phoenix in their regular season finale. After a one-year hiatus, Phoenix is back in the playoffs for the 14th time in the past 15 seasons. The Suns are the eighth seed in the Western Conference, and will take on San Antonio, the team with the league's best record. Phoenix won three of four games against the Spurs this season, winning the season series for the first time since 1997-98.
* CLIPPERS 107, TRAIL BLAZERS 93: Lamar Odom had 24 points and 13 rebounds and host Los Angeles defeated Portland, dropping the playoff-bound Trail Blazers to sixth place in the Western Conference.
The loss means the Trail Blazers will play Dallas in the first round.
The Clippers didn't make the playoffs.
* LAKERS 117, WARRIORS 111: Kobe Bryant scored 44 points as visiting Los Angeles earned the fifth seed in the Western Conference.
The Lakers will face fourth-seeded Minnesota in the first round of the playoffs.