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Celtics nail down top seed in East

21 April 2017

David Zalubowski/APThe Cavaliers are now a game behind the Boston Celtics for the No. 1 seed in the East after stumbling down the stretch of the season.

Thomas finished with 13 points and eight assists, but he went to the bench late in the third quarter and sat out the fourth as the Celtics backups pulled away.

The runaway favorites and league's top team overall during the regular season, the Golden State Warriors, will take on the eighth seed in the Western Conference, the Portland Trail Blazers, in the first round. "Fatigue got us a little bit", said Bucks coach Jason Kidd, who was pleased to come out of the game without any injuries. As a team, as a collective group, we've got to let them see five guys every time down.

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That's why Saturday afternoon was all about practice and preparation, and why Sunday afternoon will be all about Game 1.

The Celtics (52-29) built a 27-point lead in the third quarter, but a 37-point quarter and then another charge in the fourth got the Nets, who scored 40 in the first half, to within six in the fourth.

But that starting lineup (which, to be fair, finished 26-10) was on the court to begin the Cavs' smackdown of the Celtics on April 5 in Boston. The Pacers, Heat and Bulls have yet to finish their games which will determine the seeding of the bottom two teams. This game is an opportunity to end the regular season on a good night while also entering the playoffs as the top seed in the East for the first time since 2008. When Head Coach Brad Stevens was asked about the Chicago Bulls, he responded by giving praises to their offensive rebounding ability and having guys like Wade and Butler on the roster. "But that wasn't the deciding factor in any moves". "It's very special. I mean, for me it is". "I've never been a No. 1 seed".

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Not only will the three-time All-Star be set loose on guarding Boston's biggest scoring threat in point guard Isaiah Thomas, but he's looking forward to it.

Below is the complete list of games, tip-off times, stream and TV channels for the National Basketball Association games on Wednesday night. The NBA didn't start keeping track of blocks or steals until the 1973-74 season. Robin Lopez of the Bulls has quietly returned to form this year averaging 10.4 points per game and 6.4 rebounds. "I just tell him he's going to win us a playoff game, and I really believe that", said Thomas. "We've got a big playoff run (coming) for you guys".

3-Point Goals-Milwaukee 6-23 (Hawes 2-3, Vaughn 2-4, Brogdon 1-2, Teletovic 1-5, Maker 0-2, Payton 0-2, Monroe 0-2, Beasley 0-3), Boston 12-37 (Crowder 3-7, Johnson 2-2, Olynyk 2-3, Thomas 2-6, Green 2-8, Smart 1-2, Young 0-1, Jerebko 0-1, Horford 0-2, Brown 0-2, Bradley 0-3). Totals 37-84 14-17 94. The Chicago Bulls are averaging 102.9 points on 44.4 percent shooting and allowing 102.4 points on 45.6 percent shooting.

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