Lakers Win In Overtime, Claiming 2-Seed In NBA Playoffs Bracket; Mavericks Take Third

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Lakers Win In Overtime, Claiming 2-Seed In NBA Playoffs Bracket; Mavericks Take Third

Kobe Bryant hit a game-tying three-pointer with five seconds left to lift the Los Angeles Lakers into overtime against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday, and the two-time defending champs got the job done, hanging on to win and claim the No. 2 seed in the West bracket of the 2011 NBA Playoffs. The Dallas Mavericks had won earlier in the evening, but the Lakers had the tiebreaker by virtue of a division championship and claimed the higher seed.

The Mavericks landed in the No. 3 spot, and will face the Portland Trail Blazers in a series that begins Saturday. The Lakers will face the New Orleans Hornets; the Memphis Grizzlies had a spot to claim No. 7 with a win over the Los Angeles Clippers late on Wednesday, but effectively tanked to instead draw the No. 1 San Antonio Spurs.

By losing to the Milwaukee Bucks in overtime, the Oklahoma City Thunder -- with their starters playing limited minutes -- guaranteed themselves the No. 4 seed. They will face the Denver Nuggets in the first round.

See full NBA playoff schedules for both conferences.

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Hornets Vs. Mavericks Final Score: Dallas Hammers New Orleans 121-89

Dallas clamped down on New Orleans in the second half allowing the Hornets just 28 points combined in the third and fourth quarters. The Mavericks now await the outcome of tonight's Lakers-Kings as they need a L.A. loss to move into the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. 

Dirk Nowitzki scored 32 points to lead the Mavericks. Jose Juan Barea added 14 points while Jason Terry had 13. Dallas shot 55% from the floor while also hitting 13-28 shots from beyond the arc. 

Jarrett Jack scored 22 points off the bench for the Hornets. Marco Belinelli finished with 14 while Carl Landry and Quincy Poindexter each had 10. Chris Paul finished with seven points and eight assists while being held scoreless in the second half. 

For more on this game, Dallas fans should check out Mavs Moneyball and Hornets fan should join At The HiveFor updates on all of the NBA's meaningful Wednesday night games, stay tuned to this StoryStream.

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Bucks Vs. Thunder Score: Milwaukee Wins In Overtime

If you don't believe that Scott Brooks was watching the score of the game between the Dallas Mavericks and New Orleans Hornets, I have some cheap waterfront property in Florida I'd like to sell you. With the Mavs well in control of their game and the Thunder unable to advance their playoff position, the likes of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook exited the game early as the Bucks put together a double digit comeback to force overtime, then win in overtime by a score of 110-106.

In his brief time on the floor, Westbrook was dominant with 20 points and five assists in just 20 minutes. The Bucks mainly won thanks to their free throw shooting, as they shot under 50 percent and were poor on the boards. With tonight's results, the Thunder are now locked into the fourth seed in the NBA Western Conference Playoffs.

For more on this game, Bucks fans should head over to Brew Hoop and Thunder fans should check out Welcome To Loud City. For updates on all of the NBA's meaningful Wednesday night games, stay tuned to this StoryStream.

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Bucks Vs. Thunder Score: Milwaukee And OKC Head For Overtime

Apparently, the Oklahoma City Thunder thought that they would save the legs of their stars, keeping them all to well under 30 total minutes on the floor in regulation. That move has backfired in spectacular fashion, as the Bucks have mounted a comeback to push the Thunder to overtime. After four quarters, the score is 96-96.

Royal Ivey, not even Nate Robinson or Eric Maynor was on the floor, and his mistake lead to bonus basketball. As John Salmons went up for a potential game-tying three point shot, Ivey fouled him, and Salmons made all three free throws to send the game to OT. Currently, Dallas are handling New Orleans, which means OKC can't move up. Based on the Thunder's player personnel decisions late in the game, someone on the bench is probably score-watching.

For more on this game, Bucks fans should head over to Brew Hoop and Thunder fans should check out Welcome To Loud City. For updates on all of the NBA's meaningful Wednesday night games, stay tuned to this StoryStream.

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Hornets Vs. Mavericks Score: Dirk Nowitzki's 31 Points Leads Dallas To 86-74 Advantage After Three

Dirk Nowitzki picked up where he left off in the first half scoring 12 of his game-high 31 points in the third quarter while helping Dallas stake itself to a 86-74 lead after three quarters of play. The Mavericks clamped down on the Hornets defensively outscoring them by a score of 28-13 in the quarter. Dallas has done a much better job against the New Orleans pick and roll and the Hornets haven't had an answer. 

Jason Kidd has 12 points and eight assists while Shawn Marion has added 10 points for the Mavericks. Jarrett Jack leads the Hornets with 18 points but scored just two in the third quarter. Marco Bellineli has 14 points but the Mavericks held Chris Paul scoreless in the third period. Paul has seven points and eight assists through three quarters.

For more on this game, Dallas fans should check out Mavs Moneyball and Hornets fan should join At The HiveFor updates on all of the NBA's meaningful Wednesday night games, stay tuned to this StoryStream.

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Bucks Vs. Thunder Score: OKC Pulls Away In Third Quarter

The Oklahoma City Thunder's bench didn't play well in the second quarter of their game with the Milwaukee Bucks as their starters rested, but the first team came out in full force in the third quarter, opening up a double digit lead. After three, OKC is ahead by a score of 74-64.

Kevin Durant came back into the game and heated up considerably in the third, while Russell Westbrook continued to be absolutely dominant, getting to 20 points after three quarters. He's done a great job getting to the line, and he's gone 6-6 from the charity stripe so far. The Hornets and Mavericks are involved in a close game elsewhere, and if the Mavs pull off the win, the Thunder could very well be improving their playoff position.

For more on this game, Bucks fans should head over to Brew Hoop and Thunder fans should check out Welcome To Loud City. For updates on all of the NBA's meaningful Wednesday night games, stay tuned to this StoryStream.

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Hornets Vs. Mavericks Score: Jarrett Jack Leads New Orleans To 61-58 Halftime Lead

Jarrett Jack came off the bench to score 16 points while helping lead the New Orleans Hornets to a 62-58 halftime lead over the Dallas Mavericks. Dallas needs a victory and a Los Angeles Lakers loss to clinch the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. Chris Paul scored seven points while dishing out six assists while Marco Belinelli added eight points of his own for the Hornets. 

Dirk Nowitzki has done everything he can to keep Dallas in the game scoring 19 first half points in just 18 minutes of action. Jose Juan Barea added 10 points for the Mavericks. Dallas could still be in good position as they find themselves down by only three points while allowing the Hornets to shoot 58% from the floor and 63% from three-point range in the first half. 

This is a big game for the Mavericks because a loss combined with a Oklahoma City win would drop the Mavericks all the way to the No. 4 seed. 

For more on this game, Dallas fans should check out Mavs Moneyball and Hornets fan should join At The Hive.

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Bucks Vs. Thunder Score: Milwaukee's Bench Outplays OKC's, Bucks Lead At Halftime

The Milwaukee Bucks struggled the first quarter of their game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, but their bench was significantly better than OKC's in the second quarter, and they now lead by a score of 46-43 at halftime. The ghost of Michael Redd has awakened to score eight points, while the Thunder haven't looked great. Kevin Durant didn't play at all in the second quarter, while Kendrick Perkins has only played seven minutes so far.

Though the Thunder are in a position to potentially improve their playoff position, it seems like they're taking the stance of "better safe than sorry" and limiting the time their starters play. Maybe Andrew Bynum's injury scared everyone straight.

For more on this game, Bucks fans should head over to Brew Hoop and Thunder fans should check out Welcome To Loud City. For updates on all of the NBA's meaningful Wednesday night games, stay tuned to this StoryStream.

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Hornets Vs. Mavericks Score: Everyone Playing Well In A Tight Game

Simply put, the game between the New Orleans Hornets and Dallas Mavericks has been well played in the early going, with both teams looking strong in all areas. Dirk Nowitzki leads the way with eight points as both teams have done a great job of spreading the scoring around. Both teams have shot well, defended well, and rebounded well, and predictably the score is close, with the Mavericks leading 28-27.

Phil Jackson is probably hoping that Dallas loses this game, especially after what happened to Andrew Bynum last night. Though that injury was not serious, Jackson would probably like to rest his starters if his team's playoff position won't be adversely affected. For that to be the case, the Lakers need Dallas to lose.

For more on this game, Hornets fans should head over to At The Hive, while Mavericks fans should check out Mavs Moneyball. For updates on all of the NBA's meaningful Wednesday night games, stay tuned to this StoryStream.

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Bucks Vs. Thunder Score: Russell Westbrook Dominating Early

It's been the Russell Westbrook early in the season finale between the Milwaukee Bucks and Oklahoma City Thunder, as the point guard has 10 points. The Bucks have struggled offensively so far, as all of John Salmons, Brandon Jennings, and Drew Gooden have shot poorly as the Thunder lead by a score of 21-16. 

The Bucks aren't exactly doing other things well either, and they're fairly lucky they're only down by five points. Kevin Durant hasn't quite been on his game so far, scoring just four points on seven shots. Still, it would be hard to believe that Durant won't heat up at some point. The Thunder can only improve their playoff position if the Dallas Mavericks lose, and they're involved in a tight game with the New Orleans Hornets.

For more on this game, Bucks fans should head over to Brew Hoop and Thunder fans should check out Welcome To Loud City. For updates on all of the NBA's meaningful Wednesday night games, stay tuned to this StoryStream.

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Lakers, Mavericks Play With NBA Playoffs Bracket In Mind On Regular Season's Final Night

By the time the Los Angeles Lakers take the court against the Sacramento Kings at 10:30 p.m. ET, the West's 2011 NBA Playoffs bracket could be completely set. Should the Dallas Mavericks lose to the New York Hornets, the Lakers would be locked into the No. 2 seed in the West, and depending on whether the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Milwaukee Bucks, the Mavericks would fall to No. 3 or No. 4.

Here's a look at the schedule of games that matter.

8 p.m. ET start

Hornets vs. Mavericks, ESPN. If Dallas loses, the picture will be much, much more clear heading into the late games. The Lakers would be able to rest their stars and still grab No. 2, and no one will care if the Memphis Grizzlies tank against the Clippers, because New Orleans will have clinched the No. 7 seed.

Bucks vs. Thunder, local TV/League Pass. This game only matters if the Mavericks lose. If Dallas wins, OKC is locked into No. 4. If Dallas loses and OKC wins, the Thunder will be No. 3. This game has no bearing on No. 2 or Nos. 7 and 8, though.

10:30 p.m. ET start

Lakers vs. Kings, local TV/League Pass. If Dallas has won, the Lakers need a win to claim No. 2. Otherwise, it will be No. 3 for the Lakers. Also, this game doubles as potentially the final game in Sacramento Kings history. It is sold out. So there's that.

Grizzlies vs. Clippers, ESPN. This game only matters if the Hornets lose. If they do, the Grizzlies need to lose to become the No. 8 seed. It became apparent Tuesday, when Lionel Hollins held out Zach Randolph and Tony Allen against Portland, that the Grizzlies want to be the No. 8 seed. If the Hornets lose and Grizzlies win, Memphis will be the No. 7 seed and face either the Mavericks or Lakers, and the Hornets will face the Spurs.

There is also some jockeying around the league for win-loss advantages over contenders from the other conference for potential NBA Finals matchups, but there's a dead simple rule of thumb for that: more wins are better.

Stay tuned Wednesday night for our coverage of the final day of the NBA regular season.

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