Playoff Picture: April 6th
By sarahhecht Posted in: playoffs
The Trail Blazers clinched a playoff berth in the Rose Garden last night!
In a backwards sort of way Portland guaranteed their tickets to the post-season based on a loss by the Houston Rockets.
There’s not much to say about the ugly game against the Golden State Warriors. Mike Barrett’s recap A Missed Opportunity
tells the story of the odd night around the league.
The team is traveling to Utah today. Tomorrow they face-off with the Jazz to start the final back-to-back of the season.
The most important game to watch tonight is New Orleans vs. Houston. A Hornets win will guarantee them a playoff berth, while a Houston win will keep their playoff aspirations alive.
Last night's scores and effects:
The San Antonio Spurs defeated the Atlanta Hawks 97-90
in Atlanta. The Spurs took another step ahead of the Lakers. With 1st place in their pocket, San Antonio increased their lead to three and a half games due to the Lakers loss.
The LA Clippers stunned the Memphis Grizzlies 82-81
in Memphis. The Grizzlies loss is reason to smile in Rip City. They stayed stuck in 8th in the Western Conference. Had they won they’d have jumped the Trail Blazers in the standings. So good news there.
The Sacramento Kings toppled the Houston Rockets 104-101
in Houston. Thank you Houston! The Rockets loss resulted in the Trail Blazers clinching a playoff berth. They’re still in 9th in the West at three full games out of the post-season.
The Oklahoma City Thunder downed the Denver Nuggets 101-94
in Denver. As promised this game was a battle. Both teams kept the same playoff spots. Oklahoma City is in 4th and Denver is in 5th.
The Golden State Warriors beat the Portland Trail Blazers 108-87
in Portland. We’re going to forget this game happened. Portland remains in the 6th seed in the Western Conference. The bright side? The Trail Blazers clinched a playoff berth by virtue of the Houston loss.
The Utah Jazz shocked LA Lakers 86-85
in Los Angeles. In another Western conference surprise the Lakers fell to three and a half games behind the Spurs in 1st. They’re still in 2nd in the West and if the post-season started today their opponent would be the New Orleans Hornets.
Today’s games with Western Conference potential playoff teams:
Houston Rockets (41-37) vs. New Orleans Hornets (44-33)
This is a defining game for the Rockets. They can’t be eliminated from the playoff race, but a loss would mean any future loss or Memphis win would bounce them from the post-season. New Orleans will clinch a playoff berth with a win.
LA Clippers (31-47) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (51-26)
Oklahoma City is pushing for the 3rd seed in the West. They’re in 4th, but only trail Dallas by two full games. A win tonight paired with a Dallas loss will close the gap to only one game.
Sacramento Kings (23-54) vs. San Antonio Spurs (59-19)
The Spurs continue their reign as the 1st seed in the West. A win will help them maintain their three and a half game lead over the Lakers. A loss could see that gap shrink.
Denver Nuggets (47-30) vs. Dallas Mavericks (53-24)
The Nuggets and Mavericks maintain their playoff seeds regardless of outcome. Dallas is in 3rd and Denver is in 5th.
LA Lakers (55-22) vs. Golden State Warriors (34-44)
The Lakers continue their push for 1st place. They’re in 2nd place and trail the Spurs by three and a half games. A win tonight coupled with a San Antonio loss will see that gap closed to two and a half games.
Here are the playoff match-ups as of today:
(Tables courtesy of NBA.com)