- Associated Press - Thursday, April 14, 2016

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors took their last shot at Michael Jordan and history and they swished it - for 73.

Down to their final chance at the record, the Warriors became the first 73-win team Wednesday night by beating the Memphis Grizzlies 125-104, breaking what many considered an unmatchable mark set 20 years ago by Jordan’s Chicago Bulls - oh, and Golden State coach Steve Kerr, too.

Curry achieved yet one more shooting milestone, becoming the first player to make 400 3-pointers in a season by knocking down 10 from long range on the way to 46 points and 402 total 3s. Golden State saved one last record for the closing day of the regular season, and did it for a roaring, sellout home crowd at Oracle Arena. Yet these Warriors want nothing more than to build off their remarkable run so far and ride it to another title.

Draymond Green had 11 points, nine rebounds and seven assists as defending champion Golden State (73-9) topped the Jordan-led 1995-96 Bulls who went 72-10.

When the final buzzer sounded, Green bounded onto the floor and grabbed the game ball as confetti streamed down and “73 WINS” appeared on the scoreboard.

Zach Randolph scored 24 points for Memphis.


LOS ANGELES (AP) - Kobe Bryant went out with a Hollywood ending to his remarkable career.

He scored 60 points in his final game, wrapping up 20 years in the NBA with an unbelievable offensive showcase in Los Angeles’ victory over Utah.

Bryant scored 23 points in the fourth quarter, posting his first 50-point game since February 2009 and rallying the Lakers from a 15-point deficit to win the final game of the worst season in franchise history.

With the entire Staples Center crowd standing, Bryant made a 3-pointer with 59 seconds left. He hit another with 31 seconds to play, putting the Lakers ahead 97-96. He finished with an assist before checking out for good with 4.1 seconds left in just the 17th win of the worst season in franchise history.

Bryant took a career-high 50 shots to get there. He posted his highest-scoring performance since getting 61 against New York in 2009. It was the fifth highest-scoring game of his career, and he became the oldest player to score 50 points in an NBA game.

The entire night was a tribute to Bryant, who is retiring after 20 seasons, five championship rings and 18 All-Star selections with the Lakers, who honored him before and after the game. Bryant is just the fifth player in NBA history to play 20 seasons, and the first with just one team.


HOUSTON (AP) - James Harden scored 38 points and Houston took the final Western Conference playoff spot with an easy victory over Sacramento.

The Rockets never trailed and had a 64-44 lead at halftime behind 16 points from Harden and 10 each from Dwight Howard and Michael Beasley.

They won their last three games to sneak into the playoffs after losing three of the previous four to fall behind Utah and into ninth place in the West. Houston will meet top-seed Golden State in the first round of the playoffs this weekend.

Ben McLemore had 24 points for the Kings, in what was likely coach George Karl’s final game with the team amid reports that he could be fired as soon as Thursday. Karl went 44-68 since taking the job in February 2015, and this season is the 10th straight season in which the Kings did not make the playoffs.


DALLAS (AP) - Rookies Boban Marjanovic and Jonathon Simmons set career scoring highs and San Antonio rallied past Dallas despite leaving home four starters and two key reserves.

Marjanovic, a 7-foot-3 Serbian center making his fourth start, had 22 points and matched a career high with 12 rebounds as the Spurs erased an 18-point halftime deficit in the third quarter and finished off the rally in the fourth. Simmons scored 19.

Kyle Anderson, a second-year player, matched his career best with 15 points, including eight in the fourth quarter. He had 10 rebounds for his first career double-double.


CLEVELAND (AP) - LeBron James wore a black blazer and watched from the bench and all the starters for Cleveland and Detroit rested for their first-round playoff matchup as Jodie Meeks scored 20 to lead the Pistons past the Cavaliers.

James rushed onto the court to celebrate when Jordan McRae’s 3-pointer tied it 103-all and forced OT. But Meeks, who played just 17 minutes all season because of a foot injury, scored four in the extra session. McRae scored 36 and had a chance to tie it in the final second, but missed two free throws after being fouled on a 3-pointer.

The teams will play Game 1 this weekend.


NEW YORK (AP) - Rookie Norman Powell scored a career-high 30 points and Toronto wrapped up the best regular season in franchise history by beating Brooklyn.

With the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference already secured, the Raptors didn’t even bring All-Star guards Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, plus Jonas Valanciunas, James Johnson and DeMarre Carroll to the game. They won anyway, improving to 56-26 after coming into the season as the only NBA team that had never previously even won 50.

Powell added nine rebounds and five assists, while Terrence Ross had 24 points and 10 rebounds. Delon Wright scored 18 points. Bojan Bogdanovic scored 29 points for the Nets, who lost their final 10 games and finished 21-61.


BOSTON (AP) - Isaiah Thomas had 21 points and Boston rallied from 26 points down to beat Miami.

Coupled with Atlanta’s loss to Washington, Boston earned the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks’ loss also gave Miami the third seed and its fifth Southeast Division title in six years. The Celtics will face the fourth-seeded Hawks in the first round. Miami will take on No. 6 seed Charlotte.

Avery Bradley added 17 points and seven rebounds. Evan Turner finished with 16 points for Boston.

Joe Johnson and Hassan Whiteside each had 19 points to lead the Heat. Goran Dragic added 18 points, and Dwyane Wade had 17.


WASHINGTON (AP) - With a seemingly half-hearted showing in its final regular-season game, Atlanta lost to a bunch of backups for Washington and wound up with the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference.

After the game, a person familiar with the decision said Washington coach Randy Wittman has been told he will not be back. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the move has not been announced by the team.

Atlanta finished 48-34 - the same record as the Miami Heat, who lost 98-88 at the Boston Celtics but owned the tiebreaker over the Hawks and so earned the No. 3 seed. Because of Miami’s loss, Atlanta would have moved up to No. 3 with a victory. Instead, the Hawks dropped their second game in a row and will face the No. 5 Celtics in the first round of the playoffs.

Washington finished 41-41 and 10th in the Eastern Conference, missing out on the playoffs after reaching the second round each of the previous two seasons.

Al Horford led the Hawks with 19 points. Ramon Sessions, one of four reserves who started for Washington, scored 22 points.


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Al Jefferson scored 26 points and playoff-bound Charlotte closed out its best regular season in 16 years with a victory over Orlando.

The Hornets are the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference and will face the third-seeded Miami Heat in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

Troy Daniels added 13 points and Spencer Hawes and Jeremy Lamb had 12 each for Charlotte, which finished the regular season 48-34 - the fifth-most wins in franchise history.

Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon each had 22 points for the Magic.


MILWAUKEE (AP) - Solomon Hill scored a season-high 25 points to help Indiana beat Milwaukee.

Lavoy Allen and Glenn Robinson III each added 14 points for Indiana, which clinched the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference on Tuesday night after beating the New York Knicks.

With the Pacers locked into a first-round playoff series against the Toronto Raptors, coach Frank Vogel sat starters, including Paul George and Monta Ellis.

Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 19 points and nine rebounds.

BULLS 115, 76ERS 105

CHICAGO (AP) - Nikola Mirotic scored 32 points, Justin Holliday added a career-high 29, and Chicago closed a disappointing season with a victory over Philadelphia.

Mirotic hit seven 3-pointers. Holiday made five from long range, matching a personal best. Jimmy Butler added 10 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.

The Bulls wiped out an early 24-point deficit and led by as much as 19.

That’s little consolation for a team that expected to challenge Cleveland for supremacy in the Eastern Conference. Instead, they missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008 at 42-40.

Robert Covington led Philadelphia with 27 points. The 76ers finished an NBA-worst 10-72.


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Karl-Anthony Towns had 28 points and 14 rebounds and Minnesota sent coach Sam Mitchell out in style with a victory over New Orleans.

Gorgui Dieng had 20 points and 11 rebounds and Shabazz Muhammad scored 28 points for the Timberwolves (29-53), who learned before the game that owner Glen Taylor planned to open up a search for a new president of basketball operations and coach. GM Milt Newton and coach Sam Mitchell were fired after the game.

Minnesota shot 65 percent, made 13 of 28 3-pointers and set a franchise record for points in a game.

Omer Asik had 24 points and 11 rebounds for the Pelicans.


PHOENIX (AP) - Mirza Teletovic scored 22 points to lead Phoenix and the Suns finished their second-worst season in franchise history with a victory over a Los Angeles team made up almost entirely of Clippers bench players.

The loss snapped the Clippers’ six-game winning streak. Still, they won 10 of 12 games heading into their first-round playoff series against Portland. With the No. 4 spot in the West already assured, Los Angeles left Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin and Jamal Crawford home.

Wesley Johnson and C.J. Wilcox scored 19 apiece for the Clippers.


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Damian Lillard had 21 points before sitting in the final quarter and Portland , with its playoff fate sealed earlier Wednesday night, beat Denver.

CJ McCollum added 17 points for the Blazers, who led by as many as 18 points in the final quarter despite putting all of their starters on the bench. The Trail Blazers were assured of the fifth seed in the Western Conference by virtue of Dallas’ 96-91 loss to the San Antonio Spurs. The Blazers will face the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the playoffs.

Emmanuel Mudiay had 25 points for the Nuggets.

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