•For many playoff-bound teams, the goal the rest of the season may not be jockeying for seeding as much as it is getting to the end of the season fully healthy. Portland got devastating news Monday when center Jusuf Nurkic suffered compound fractures in his left fibula and tibia. Nurkic has the highest offensive rating on the playoff-bound Trail Blazers at 116 points per 100 possessions when he’s on the floor. His defensive rating is second best at 105.6.
• Not all tanking efforts go the way fans assume they will. Before the trading deadline, the Clippers unloaded Tobias Harris to the 76ers and the conventional wisdom was that they were trying to miss the playoffs. They had an added incentive — they would get to keep a first-round pick they owed the Celtics if they were in the lottery. But on Tuesday, the Clippers clinched a playoff spot with their win over the Wolves. That pick will go to Boston, but the Clippers don’t seem to care.
“Before the year, we went through all the articles about us and how bad we were going to be,” coach Doc Rivers said, according to the Associated Press. I just told them, they don’t know us.”
• The Hornets are making an incredible last-ditch effort for the playoffs. They overcame an 18-point deficit in the fourth quarter to defeat Boston. They outlasted the Spurs in overtime and then Jeremy Lamb hit one of the most unlikely half-court buzzer beaters you’ll ever see to defeat the Raptors. What’s interesting is Charlotte is doing this in what might be the final games with Kemba Walker. He is a free agent in the offseason.