Apr 02

Playoff Picture: April 2nd

By sarahhecht
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


  1. Sarah: My thoughts of the momentum change was the same as yours, with the increased intensity on defense and Offense from our whole team, and the foul trouble of Perkins. It was a great game, and believe it or not I really didn't fear losing this game. I was more upset with SAS losing to Houston.

    I don't keep stats or am I a stats person, but it seems to me if we are ahead in the first half then we lose the second half and many times the game, If we are behind the first half we win the second half and more apt to win the game. Is that just me or is it a reality?

    I am not confident that the Lakers won't pass SAS in the race for 1St so to me it is important to take care of business at hand and don't drop to seventh or eighth. I know we play the Mavs, Lakers, and Memphis, but they are at home and we are a mean machine when it comes to home games. I worry more about the Utah game and the GSW game away from home then I do the above 500 teams at home. It is only natural to have a let down in one or two of the last 6 games and I think it will be the way games, since we are not a good road team to begin with. Hopefully by the time we play GSW the last game of the season everything will already be set and it won't matter, because GS is not good place for us.

    Thank you for the post. Not many more to go, but keep them coming, I am loving it


    by Hg on 4/2/2011 12:13 PM
  2. Hi Sarah :) I didn't much like the 1st half last night either, especially after learning Houston AND Memphis won. The game suddenly became so much more important.

    I thought the dunks were great energy, and started good spurts, which were sustained when Perkins had to leave the game. I thought the T on Coach Nate was a big moment as well, since it seemed the refs quit swallowing their whistles on our side of the floor :)

    Too bad Memphis won tonight, they are seriously on a roll right now! I think whoever faces them first round is going to be in for a tough series. Can't wait for Sunday, my last game at the RG this season and maybe for good for awhile.

    by SisillaRiann on 4/2/2011 7:32 PM
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