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Celtics clinch NBA playoff home edge by silencing Thunder

WASHINGTON, United States -- The Boston Celtics clinched the NBA's best record this season and a home-court advantage throughout the NBA playoffs on Wednesday (Thursday, Manila time) with a 135-100 blowout over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Latvian Kristaps Porzingis scored 27 points and grabbed 12 rebounds while Jayson Tatum added 24 points and Jaylen Brown contributed 23 points for the Celtics, who improved to an Eastern Conference-best 60-16.

With Minnesota and Denver next best and sharing the Western Conference lead at 53-33 and only six games remaining for Boston, the Celtics are assured of having the most home games in any playoff series they have as they chase an NBA-record 18th all-time league crown.

"You learn to appreciate the process," Tatum said. "All the while we want to hang a (championship) banner. We can't skip steps. Winning 60-plus games and clinching the best record in the league, it's a big deal.

"But you're going to have to win some games on the road regardless in the playoffs to do what you want to do."

The Celtics, who last won the NBA Finals in 2008, were back home after a 4-2 road trip. They blew open the contest by outscoring Oklahoma City 42-17 in the fourth quarter.

"Feels great," Tatum said. "We had a long road trip, 13 days. It was definitely good to come back here, be around our fans and get a win.

"We really just picked up our intensity. That first game back after a long road trip can be kind of tough. We ended up finding our energy. It really showed in that second half. We started getting stops, playing faster, knocking down shots."

Minnesota grabbed a share of the Western Conference lead alongside defending champion Denver with a 133-85 rout of visiting Toronto, stretching the Raptors' losing streak to 15 games.

Anthony Edwards led the Timberwolves with 28 points while Naz Reid added 23 points and Rudy Gobert had 11 points and 15 rebounds for the hosts.

At 53-23, the T-Wolves were level with the Nuggets and a game ahead of Oklahoma City.

Injury-hit Milwaukee played without Damian Lillard, Khris Middleton and Patrick Beverley and lost to visiting Memphis 111-101.

Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 35 points to lead the Grizzlies while GG