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.
|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|
|Portland Trail Blazers||64||28-36||.438|
|Golden State Warriors||64||23-41||.359|
|New Orleans Hornets||64||20-44||.313|
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.
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.