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Western Conference Playoff Report: March 26th

Recapping the NBA action affecting the Suns race for the playoffs.

Humility - Russell Westbrook has it in spades.
Humility - Russell Westbrook has it in spades.
Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Some of you may remember a few years back in the days when the Suns didn't stop their season and go on vacation after 82 games when the esteemed Wil Cantrell and I used to write daily recaps of the Western Conference playoff race.  Apparently Dave was looking to do something like that again and since he hates you guys almost as much as he loves being dense he's asked me to pitch in and since the Brooklyn Nine-Nine season just ended I need an outlet to vent my many feelings.

This will be pretty simple.  I'll give you a quick recap of the relevant games from the previous night, the current standings, and the relevant games for that night.  I'll show you the standings for the entire Western Conference but for our purposes I consider key or relevant games to be only those involving the Suns, Mavericks, Blazers, Grizzlies, and Warriors.  It will all be heavily biased.

Tuesday March 25th Key Western Conference Results:

Orlando Magic 95 Portland Trail Blazers 85 (Recap) - Coming into last night's action the Magicians had lost an impressive 9 consecutive games.  Included in those 9 were losses to the Bucks, Jazz, and Lakers - which is basically the Bermuda Triangle of NBA defeats.  Despite all that, Orlando got huge performances from both Nikola Vucevic (22 points, 10 rebounds on 10/18 shooting) and Tobias Harris (25 points, 11 rebounds, 10/15 shooting) while the LaMarcus Aldridge-less Blazers shot a paltry 37.2% from the field - all that was a recipe for a terrible Portland loss.  The defeat put Portland just 2.5 games clear of missing the playoffs entirely - impressive considering their 24-5 start to the season.  I would not be opposed to Portland continuing their 1964 Phillies-esque collapse.

Dallas Mavericks 128 Oklahoma City Thunder 119 (Recap) -  Honestly Oklahoma City, you guys are a just a bunch of jerks.  For the second time in 9 days the NBA's deans of sneering and preening dropped a game to the Suns closest playoff competition.  In this episode they got 43 points from Kevin Durant but it wasn't enough to overcome 15 threes from the Mavericks - including 6 from Jose Calderon.  Dirk Nowitzki (who I try to hate but can't) put up a line of 32 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, and 4 steals to lead the Mavs.  I'm still mad that Oklahoma City failed to pull down a rebound up 3 with 29 seconds left.  Fortunately the Mavs and Thunder do not play each other for the remainder of the season because if they did I assume Scott Brooks would give us 48 minutes of Perry Jones while giving Kevin Durant a 2 hour nap.  I hate the Thunder.

Current Western Conference Standings:

1.San Antonio
54 16 .771 - 10-0 WON 14
2. Oklahoma City
52 19 .732 2.5
6-4 LOST 1
3. LA Clippers
50 21 .704 4.5 9-1 WON 2
4. Houston 48 22 .686 6 7-3 WON 4
5. Portland 
45 27 .625 10 3-7 LOST 3
6. Golden State
44 27 .620 10.5 7-3 LOST 1
7. Memphis 
42 28 .600 12 8-2 WON 2
8. Dallas
43 29 .597 12
7-3 WON 1
42 29 .592 12.5 6-4 WON 4

Wednesday March 26th Western Conference Games of Significance:

Suns @ Wizards -  Ordinarily going 2-1 on a road trip would be considered a really good thing.  Ordinarily you don't need to win 50 games to make the playoffs.  Shut Marcin Gortat up.

Grizzlies @ Jazz -  Utah is in last place in the Western Conference and playing without their second leading scorer in Alec Burks.  Best we can probably hope for here is divine intervention.

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