Today’s NBA slate had 13 games. Most are finals, but the key Western Conference match-ups are in full swing:
Houston Rockets (53-24) at San Antonio Spurs (52-26)
Status: Spurs lead 57-53 at the half
Impact: This is the big one. The Spurs need to win to have a chance at the 2nd seed and to help any other team hoping to have a chance. The Rockets control their own destiny to having home-court for the first 2 rounds if they continue to win. This is the first of 2 games in the final stretch between these 2 teams to close out the season.
New Orleans Pelicans (42-35) at Memphis Grizzlies (52-25)
Status: Memphis cruising to a blowout win at home
Impact: Memphis’ loss to Washington softened the importance of this game. The Clippers are still in control of their own destiny if they Clippers can win out and tie up the seasonal series between them and the Grizzlies. New Orleans has one less loss (with the same number of wins) than OKC. That’ll change most likely soon. If so, New Orleans still controls their own destiny because of their seasonal series victory against OKC.
Minnesota Timberwolves (16-81) at Portland Trailblazers (50-27)
Time: 7:00 PM
Impact: Portland needs to keep winning to have any chance at home-court in the first round. They have one MORE loss than the Clippers, and the Clippers have 3 extra wins. Portland does have the tiebreaker over the Clippers (and any other 5th seed) in that they’ll be the Northwest Division champions, so Portland just needs to equal the 5th seed’s record, whoever it may be. The Blazers are also one game in the loss column behind the Spurs, 2 behind the Grizzlies, and 3 behind Houston.
Phoenix Suns (39-39) at Dallas Mavericks (46-31)
Time: 6:30 PM
Impact: The Suns have fallen out of the race and no longer present as pesky of a problem for the Mavericks as they normally would’ve. Even though Dallas has been flat in critical games of late, this game should favor the Mavericks and allow the Mavs to stabilize as they turn to the playoffs. Otherwise, the fate of these 2 teams is relatively set in stone: Dallas will be the 7th seed and Phoenix a lottery team.