Playoff Picture: April 2nd
Defense wins games.
Last night the Trail Blazers rocked Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder in a 98-91 victory that started on the defensive end of the court. You can get all the game details in Mike Barrett’s recap Blazers Get Defensive In Second Half
The first half of this ball game had me squirming. With the Thunder solidly in control and the knowledge that Memphis beat New Orleans, I was nervous. Houston is closing fast and the 8th seed wasn’t a place I wanted to be.
But the Trail Blazers kicked it into gear and pushed on for the victory. My favorite plays of the game were the put-back dunks by Rudy Fernandez
and Nicolas Batum
. Those kinds of plays are momentum changers, they never get old.
Triumph last night moved the Trail Blazers back into 6th in the Western conference with a slated playoff matchup of the Dallas Mavericks.
How did you feel watching last nights game? What were the momentum shifting plays for you?
Last night's scores and effects:
The Memphis Grizzlies toppled the New Orleans Hornets 93-81
in New Orleans. Memphis maintained control of this game from start to finish. The win ties them with New Orleans for 7th place in the West. The Hornets take the Division record tiebreaker to take 7th place and the Grizzlies remain in 8th.
The San Antonio Spurs fell to the Houston Rockets 114-119 in OT
in Houston. In an overtime shocker the Spurs lost their sixth consecutive game. The Rockets win keeps them in 9th in the West and brings them to three full games behind Memphis in 8th. The Spurs remain in 1st but only have a one and a half game lead over the LA Lakers in 2nd.
The LA Clippers lost to the Phoenix Suns 98-111
in Phoenix. The win for Phoenix kept their playoff hopes alive for another day. They’re currently holding the 10th seed and are five and a half games out of the playoffs. Barring a miracle, it’s not a matter of if they’ll be eliminated from contention, but when.
The Oklahoma City Thunder succumbed to the Portland Trail Blazers 91-98
in Portland. In a monster win the Trail Blazers moved back into the 6th seed in the Western Conference. The Thunder remain in 4th in the West.
The Denver Nuggets defeated the Sacramento Kings 99-90
in Sacramento. Denver’s win keeps the Nuggets in 5th in the Western Conference. The Sacramento Kings have been eliminated from playoff contention.
The LA Lakers beat the Utah Jazz 96-85
in Los Angeles. The Lakers’ push for 1st place in the Western Conference continued last night. Their win coupled with the San Antonio loss closed the gap to 1st to only one and a half games. The Jazz were eliminated from playoff contention with their loss.
Tonight’s games with Western Conference potential playoff teams:
Minnesota Timberwolves (17-59) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (43-33)
A win tonight for Memphis will move them ahead of New Orleans and into 7th place. The Timberwolves have been eliminated from playoff contention.
Dallas Mavericks (53-22) vs. Golden State Warriors (32-44)
The Mavs need a win tonight if they don’t want the possibility of moving into the 2nd seed to slip away. They currently sit in 3rd at two full games behind the Lakers in 2nd. A win would close that gap to only a game and a half. Golden State has been eliminated from playoff contention.
Oklahoma City Thunder (50-25) vs. LA Clippers (29-47)
Oklahoma City will look to get back on track tonight after their loss last night in Portland. They hold the 4th seed in the Western Conference and will remain in that position with a win or a loss. The Clippers have been eliminated from playoff contention.
Here are the playoff match-ups as of today:
(Tables courtesy of NBA.com)