Suns clinch No. 6 seed in NBA Western Conference playoffs by beating Timberwolves, Lakers defeating Pelicans

LeBron James scored a triple-double as the Lakers clinched the No. 8 spot

The Phoenix Suns clinched the No. 6 seed in the NBA's Western Conference playoffs with a 125–106 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday. With the victory, the Suns avoid the play-in tournament and a matchup versus the Los Angeles Lakers.

Bradley Beal led Phoenix with 36 points, shooting 6-for-6 from 3-point range, with six rebounds and five assists. He also got in a brief skirmish with T-Wolves star Anthony Edwards in the second quarter when Minnesota head coach Chris Finch complained to officials about the foul discrepancy between the two teams. Beal and Edwards each received a technical foul.

Devin Booker added 23 points with seven assists. Grayson Allen contributed 20 points, going 3-for-3 on 3-pointers.

The Lakers helped Phoenix secure the No. 6 seed by defeating the New Orleans Pelicans, 124–108. LeBron James was outstanding, notching a triple-double with 28 points, 17 assists and 11 rebounds while adding five steals. Anthony Davis led the Lakers with 30 points, with Austin Reaves adding 20 and D'Angelo Russell scoring 19.

With the win, the Lakers clinched the West's No. 8 seed and get a rematch with the No. 7 Pelicans on Tuesday in New Orleans for the play-in tournament.

The Timberwolves came into Sunday's game with a chance to earn the West's No. 1 seed had they defeated the Suns and either the Denver Nuggets or Oklahoma City Thunder lost. But with a loss and the Thunder (No. 1) and Nuggets (No. 2) both winning, Minnesota will be the No. 3 seed and match up against the Suns again in the first round.

Minnesota's 56 wins are the second-highest total in franchise history behind the 2003-04 squad, featuring Kevin Garnett, Sam Cassell and Latrell Sprewell. That team advanced to the Western Conference finals, where it lost in six games to the Lakers.

Rudy Gobert led the T-Wolves with 21 points and seven rebounds. Mike Conley added 17 points, while Edwards scored 13. Minnesota committed 24 turnovers, matching their highest total of the season.