The NBA Playoff race in the Western Conference remains as congested and as up-in-the-air as ever. While the top four teams have somewhat distanced themselves from the rest of the pack, the hunt for the 5th through 8th seeds are still very much up for grabs for the other eight teams who are battling to make the post season.
The teams currently ahead of the Phoenix Suns (10) in the standings that are realistically within reach are the Memphis Grizzlies (5), Dallas Mavericks (6), Denver Nuggets (7), Utah Jazz (8), and Houston Rockets (9). Other than the Nuggets, all of these teams played last night and either slightly helped or hurt their causes with the result.
Read on after the jump for a look at the most up to date standings and a quick summary of the games that mattered most.
Here are the current NBA Western conference Standings for April 3rd, 2012
Games of interest on Monday April 2nd:
Houston Rockets (8) BEAT Chicago Bulls 99-93
Memphis Grizzlies (5) BEAT OKC Thunder (1) 94-88
Dallas Mavericks (6) LOST to Los Angeles Clippers (4) 94-75
The Mavericks tried to build on the comeback against the Magic tonight and got bulldozed by the Clippers 94-75, who not only won the game but also picked up the tiebreaker (they take the season series 2-1). It pretty much means that the Mavericks can kiss a Top4 finish in the West goodbye.
Utah Jazz (9) BEAT Portland Trail Blazers (11) 102-97
The Jazz don't usually win games in Portland, but they did tonight. This is exactly the type of win the Jazz need to set the tone for the rest of this month. It was a must win game, and they took care of business...
So after all of that, the Phoenix Suns still remain in 10th place where it seems like they have been stuck forever. The good news is the Suns have a few pretty important games starting this Friday against other potential playoff teams that could ensure they move up in the standings if they win.
Tonight, the Suns will face the Sacramento Kings on the road, and while this isn't a game that will necessarily help Phoenix displace one of their five biggest targets, it is very important to the Suns and their continued quest to stay in the playoff race that they get this win. The only other real game of interest for the Suns tonight will be the Golden State Warriors at Memphis Grizzlies, where the Suns will be hoping for the Warriors to come out victorious.