If you can’t get excited for an NBA Thursday full of exciting games with playoff implications, you need to check your pulse. There were a lot of high profile teams playing, with the Warriors, Cavaliers, Trail Blazers, and Rockets all in action. Every game somehow impacted the playoff race, and no game had more importance than the Timberwolves and Nuggets. It was surely a wild night of NBA action.

Here’s all the news, updates and highlights from Thursday’s NBA happenings.

NBA scores for Thursday, April 5

All times Eastern

Denver pulls into tie for No. 8 spot

The Nuggets held their home court, defeating the Timberwolves to pull into a tie for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Nikola Jokic had 16 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists for the Nuggets, while Jimmy Butler, who was listed as active for the game after dealing with a torn meniscus for several weeks, didn’t end up taking the floor. The best part? The same two teams play again on the final day of the season.

Too much LeBron

The Wizards looked like they had a comfortable lead heading into the fourth quarter against the Cavs on Thursday night, but no lead is safe when LeBron James is on the other team. He finished with 33 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds to lead the Cavs to their fifth straight win and 10th in their last 11 games.

CP3 hits the game-winner

The Rockets watched a 24-point lead disappear, but luckily they had Chris Paul to bail them out in the end. He hit a tough runner off the top of the glass while falling to the floor to give Houston the win.

Giannis is unreal

Look at where Giannis Antetokounmpo jumps from on this dunk over Nets center Jarrett Allen. That’s just not right.

Clarkson with the steal and the spinning slam

Jordan Clarkson is one athletic young man. He made sure to show everybody just how athletic with a 360 dunk against the Wizards.

Kyrie won’t return for playoffs

Any hope of Kyrie Irving returning to the Celtics‘ lineup for the playoffs just went out the window. Boston will reportedly be without their star point guard for the remainder of the regular season and the entire playoffs. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the news on Thursday afternoon, and the team confirmed that Irving will have a second knee surgery that will sideline him for 4-5 months. Full story.

Lue back coaching Cavs

After missing nine games to deal with health issues, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue returned to coaching the team on Thursday against the Washington Wizards. Full story.

Dirk shuts it down to have ankle surgery

The Dallas Mavericks‘ season has been effectively over for a while, but it’s officially over for their legendary big man, Dirk Nowitzki. The Mavs announced on Thursday morning that Nowitzki underwent season-ending ankle surgery. According to a report from ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, the surgery is “relatively minor,” and will not affect Nowitzki’s decision on whether to play next season. Full story.


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