Warriors' chase, Kobe'south finale highlight NBA'south final night

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Source:   —  April 13, 2016, at 7:43 PM

Kobe Bryant is playing for the latest time. On their own, either of those events would be seismic. Having them happen simultaneously only makes both seem bigger.

Warriors' chase, Kobe'south finale highlight NBA'south final night

Golden State is playing for history. Kobe Bryant is playing for the last time.

On their own, either of those events would be seismic. Having them happen simultaneously only makes both seem bigger. And those games will surely overshadow some other far-from-insignificant developments such as the final postseason berth being claimed and six of the eight first-round playoff matchups finally getting decided.

It'south a closing night unlike any other for the NBA.

Golden State'south pursuit of the NBA'south all-time best regular season record comes down to its finale against Memphis. Win, and the record belongs outright to the Warriors. Lose, and they'd settle for merely a 72-ten mark — the same as the one posted by Chicago in the 1995-96 season.

Maybe it'south fitting that the Warriors are chasing a record that's lasted for twenty years, given that they're sharing the spotlight with the final game of Bryant'south 20-year career.

He'south a five-time winner with the LA Lakers, and even in his finale Bryant will still be reaching milestones. Even if he doesn't score a single point in his latest game, Bryant will cap his career with a 25.0 scoring average (24.95, rounding up, technically). And the first free toss he shoots Wednesday will be the 10.000th of his career, something only four other players have done.

Here's a see at some of what awaits around the league on Wednesday night:

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PURSUIT OF seventy-three

Memphis at Golden State, 10:30 p. m. EDT

All Golden State (72-nine) has to do for the best record in NBA history is beat Memphis, a team that'd a two-one series lead over the Warriors in latest year'south Western Conference semifinals.

And the Grizzlies are 0-six against the Warriors since.

Memphis lost by fifty in its first ride to Golden State this season. Yes, fifty. But this past weekend in Memphis, the Grizzlies had a genuine chance before falling 100-99.

Meanwhile, amid the look for seventy-three wins, here'south another no to watch: four hundred.

Stephen Curry is eight three-pointers far from 400 for the season, and while that seems love a lot to obtain in one game hold in mind he'south made that many from beyond the arc fifteen times already this season.

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MAMBA OUT

UT at L. A. Lakers, 10:30 p. m. EDT

Kobe Bryant'south farewell comes at residence against Utah. Including playoffs, it'll be the one.566th game of Bryant'south career — each one in a Lakers uniform.

The Lakers are 16-65, so win or lose this will be the worst season in franchise history — the second straight year they've found a new low. That won't matter. Excellent tickets for the latest game for Bryant were going for about $two.000 on the secondary resale markets late Tuesday, with the best seats at Staples Middle going for 10 times that much.

The Jazz just won't be spectators. They've to win to have a shot at getting in the playoffs, but might be eliminated basically by tip-off. If Houston wins earlier Wednesday at residence against Sacramento, the Jazz will finish No. 9 in the W regardless of how they do against the Lakers.

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EASTERN CONFERENCE PICTURE

Key games: Miami at Boston, eight p. m. EDT; Atlanta at Washington, eight p. m. EDT; Orlando at Charlotte, eight p. m. EDT

A pair of first-round matchups are set — No. 1 Cleveland will play No. eight Detroit (they also meet Wednesday night in a playoff preview), and No. 2 Toronto will play No. seven Indiana.

Everything else comes down to the final night.

Miami could be the No. three, No. five or No. six seed, controlling its fate for home-court — win in Boston, and the Heat are No. three.

Atlanta will be either No. third or No. four. Boston could be No. four, No. five or No. 6, and Charlotte will be either No. five or No. 6.

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WESTERN CONFERENCE PICTUR

Key games: San Antonio at Dallas, eight p. m. EDT; Sacramento at Houston, eight p. m. EDT; Memphis at Golden State, 10:30 p. m. EDT; UT at L. A. Lakers, 10:30 p. m. EDT; Denver at Portland, 10:30 p. m. EDT.

The top four seeds and home-court in the first circular are locked up. Golden State is No. 1, San Antonio is No. 2, OK City is No. 3 and the LA Clippers are No. 4.

Houston will earn the right to be the No. eight seed and play the Warriors in the first circular with a win over Sacramento. If the Rockets lose, they'll necessity the Jazz to lose to the Lakers as well. If Houston loses and UT wins, the Jazz will be off to Golden State as the No. eight seed.

Seeds 5-7 in the W will go to Portland, Memphis and Dallas, in some order. All will be starting the playoffs on the road this weekend.

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INDIVIDUAL AWARDS

Not much drama left in these departments.

Curry will be the NBA'south scoring champion, assuming something totally bizarre love him going scoreless and James Harden scoring at least eighty points for Houston doesn't happen. Detroit'south Andre Drummond will be the rebound-per-game leader, Sacramento'south Rajon Rondo will finish atop the league in assists per game and Miami'south Hassan Whiteside will lead the NBA in blocks.

Curry could also finish as the league'south best in steals per game — he'south at 2.14 per game, just ahead of Minnesota'south Ricky Rubio (2.09). And he may become the seventh player in NBA history to shoot fifty % from the field, forty % from 3-point range and ninety % from the foul line in a season. He'll create it on 3'south easily, and comes into Game eighty-two shooting 50.2 % from the field and 90.6 % from the line.

More points will have been scored, more 3-pointers made and more rebounds grabbed this season than any other in NBA history as well.

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