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NBA Scoreboard Watch: Saturday 3/21

Which games have Western Conference playoff implications? Which teams can help the Clippers? Use this thread to discuss the other games around the Association tonight.

Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s NBA slate has 5 games

· Nets at Pacers

· Bulls at Pistons

· Suns at Rockets

· Trail Blazers at Grizzlies

· Jazz at Warriors

Of these aforementioned games, the following may be of particular interest to you as the playoff race comes down the final stretch. I have ordered these games by their level of entertainment/interest

Portland Trail Blazers (44-23) @ Memphis Grizzlies (48-21)

Time: 5 PM PST

How to watch: CSNN, SPSO, NBA League Pass

Notes: Both teams played last night, Portland in Orlando, and Memphis in Dallas, so both teams arrived late last night in Memphis. Both teams should be at full strength, as Mike Conley made his return last night after missing the previous 4 games. Portland is entering the game on a 3 game losing streak.

Impact: The good news is one team has to lose. Memphis is 4 games ahead of the Clippers in the loss column.. One game remains between them for April 11th. Memphis currently leads the seasonal series 2-1.  Meanwhile, the Blazers are 2 games ahead of the Clippers in the loss column, but they have a tough remaining schedule, including 2 games each against the Warriors, Suns, and Jazz, and 1 game each against the Clippers, Pelicans, Thunder, and Mavericks. All of those teams, except Utah, are in the thick of the playoff race (Suns are 3 games back of the Thunder for the 8th and final playoff spot), and the Jazz are one of the hottest teams since the all star break. The Clippers currently lead in the head to head match-up against the Blazers, 2-1,  with one game remaining between the two on April 1, so if the Blazers lose, then the Clippers will have control of their own destiny for the 4 seed.

Phoenix Suns (36-33) at Houston Rockets (46-22)

Time: 5 PM PST

How to watch: FSAZ, ROOT, NBA League Pass

Notes: Dwight Howard, Kostas Papanikolaou, and Terrence Jones are injured for the Rockets, while Brandon Knight is out for the Suns, and Alex Len is listed as day-to-day.

Impact: The Rockets, despite injuries, are continuing to win, lead by James Harden, who scored 50 points in his last game. They are 3 games ahead of the Clippers in the loss column, so if the Clippers have hopes of moving up to the 3 seed, they need Houston to lose. The Suns are on playoff life support, sitting 3 games back in the loss column to the Thunder, who currently hold the 8 seed. They are coming off a win over the Pelicans, who are also battling for that last playoff spot. Never count out a hungry team on life support.

Utah Jazz (31-37) at Golden State Warriors (55-13)

Time: 7:30 PM PST

How to watch: ROOT, CSNB, NBA League Pass

Notes: Klay Thompson continues to rest his injured ankle, and with the 1 seed locked up, there is no need for the Warriors to rush him back. The Jazz are one of the hottest teams in the NBA, winning 12 of 15 since the all star break.

Impact: This game does not impact the Clippers at all. But this game is a match-up of the two of the hottest teams in the league. Also, with a potential 2nd round playoff match-up against the Warriors, it’s worth watching this game to study up on a possible future opponent.