NBA Western Conference Playoff Update: Win to Get In

Apr. 21, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns Gorilla performs prior to the game against the Denver Nuggets at the US Airways Center. The Nuggets defeated the Suns 118 - 107. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-US PRESSWIRE.

Two games remain of 66 and the outlook is crystal clear for the Suns, win in Utah Tuesday then win again at home versus a Spurs team that probably won't have much incentive with the #1 seed wrapped up. The Suns could also potentially receive help from the Blazers on Thursday, but that seems unlikely since the Blazers have the look of a team that already has their cabana clothes packed for tropical vacations.

It's all very simple and it's all on the Suns to do it for themselves.

Standings and recaps from yesterday's games after the jump.

Western Standings

San Antonio Spurs 63 47-16 .746
Oklahoma City Thunder 64 46-18 .719
Los Angeles Lakers 65 41-24 .631
Los Angeles Clippers 64 40-24 .625
Memphis Grizzlies 64 39-25 .609
Denver Nuggets 64 36-28 .563
Dallas Mavericks 65 36-29 .554
Utah Jazz 64 34-30 .531
Phoenix Suns 64 33-31 .516
Houston Rockets 65 33-32 .508
Portland Trail Blazers 64 28-36 .438
Minnesota Timberwolves 65 26-39 .400
Golden State Warriors 64 23-41 .359
Sacramento Kings 64 21-43 .328
New Orleans Hornets 64 20-44 .313

The Rockets were eliminated from contention with their loss at Miami yesterday, and the Heat didn't even need Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh to do it.

Miami Heat Eliminate Houston Rockets- Win 97-88

The Miami Heat rallied in the 4th quarter and eliminated the Houston Rockets from the western conference playoffs on Sunday.
With Dwyane Wade and Chis Bosh out, LeBron James carried the Heat, scoring 11 of his game high 32 points in the 4th quarter and also added 8 rebounds and 5 assists in the victory.

In a game that had no direct impact on the Suns, the Oklahoma City Thunder lost to the Lakers, moving the Spurs one step closer to the #1 seed and hopefully allowing them to rest players and generally not be overly concerned with winning when they play the Suns on Wednesday.

Lakers Complete Huge Comeback with Double OT Win Vs. Thunder

It was the most unlikely of comebacks, so it makes sense that it came from the most unlikely of places. Down by 17 near the start of the 4th quarter, the Los Angeles Lakers decided to try a lineup they never tried before. Ramon Sessions and Pau Gasol joined Steve Blake, Devin Ebanks, and Jordan Hill as Mike Brown searched under every rock for just a little bit of energy. He finally found some. When Kobe Bryant replaced Ramon Sessions with 8 minutes to go in the quarter, the Lakers were still down 13. That lineup would play the rest of the way, and at game's end, the result was a 114-106 double overtime victory.

Of course, the game will be best remembered for Metta World Peace's cowardly cheap shot on James Harden and subsequent lame "apology" for it. A lengthy suspension is in MWP's future and he richly deserves it.

Four days left in this crazy season and it's all on the line for the Suns. Not bad for a team that was left for dead by pretty much everyone in February.

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