The only game on the slate that mattered to the Suns was the Nuggets-Lakers match up. The Lakers had a chance to clinch the top spot in the West but Kobe Bryant sat out with swelling in his knee. The result was one you may have expected (a loss), although you have to hand it to the Kobe-less Lakers, they at least made a game of it. Down by as many as 13 in the 3rd, the Lakers used a 17-4 run to close the quarter with a one point lead heading into the 4th.
The Lakers led by 5 midway through the 4th before 'Melo came alive to drop some of his clutchness on the Lakers, hitting a 3 and then a layup to tie the score up at 92. The Lakers still had a shot to win it in the closing seconds, but Anthony blocked a Derek Fisher 3-ballgame.
J.R. Smith came off of the Nugget bench to drop 5 3-pointers en route to 26 points while Carmelo Anthony went for 31. Nuggets 98 Lakers 96 (Game Recap)
The Nuggets victory allowed them to leap frog the top seeded West squads all the way to second place, with a half game lead on Dallas and the Suns. That may not last for very long as 5 WC games are scheduled tonight that will have an impact on the standings. Buckle your seat belts Suns fans, pick up some pepto or a bottle of your favorite spirit, this is going to be an insane final week.
Western Conference Standings:
|1. LA Lakers
|7. San Antonio
|8. Oklahoma City
April 9 Western Conference games of Significance:
Suns @ Thunder
Lakers @ Timberwolves