With 26 of the league’s 30 teams in action Friday night, there was a bit of movement as far as the playoffs are concerned.
Behind 33 points from Danny Green, the San Antonio Spurs rallied from a 21-point deficit to defeat the Phoenix Suns 112-104 and improve to 62-18, clinching home court advantage throughout the playoffs.
For the Suns, this could be a catastrophic loss. They are now tied for eighth with the Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference and would currently be out of the postseason due to the tie breaker. They are a half-game (in the win column) behind the Dallas Mavericks for the seventh seed. The Mavericks were not in action while the Grizzlies blew out the Philadelphia 76ers 117-95.
By losing to the Minnesota Timberwolves 112-110, the Houston Rockets are now in danger of losing home court to the Portland Trail Blazers in their likely first round playoff series. The Rockets are 52-27 while the Blazers, who defeated the Utah Jazz 111-99, are 52-28.
In the Eastern Conference, the Miami Heat defeated the reeling Indiana Pacers 98-86 to take back the top spot. The Heat are 54-25 and the Pacers are 54-26.
A 106-98 Chicago Bulls victory over the Detroit Pistons put them a game ahead of the Toronto Raptors, who fell to the New York Knicks 108-100, for the third seed.
It was a big win for the Knicks, but because the Atlanta Hawks defeated the Brooklyn Nets 93-88, the Knicks remain two games out of the eighth and final playoff spot.
The Washington Wizards’ 96-86 victory over the Orlando Magic coupled with the Boston Celtics 106-103 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats put the Wizards a game ahead of the Bobcats for the sixth seed. The Bobcats hold the tiebreaker in the event of a tie.
If the playoffs started today, the matchups would look like this.
San Antonio Spurs (1) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (8)
Houston Rockets (4) vs. Portland Trail Blazers (5)
Los Angeles Clippers (3) vs. Golden State Warriors (6)
Oklahoma City Thunder (2) vs. Dallas Mavericks (7)
Miami Heat (1) vs. Atlanta Hawks (8)
Toronto Raptors (4) vs. Brooklyn Nets (5)
Chicago Bulls (3) vs. Washington Wizards (6)
Indiana Pacers (2) vs. Charlotte Bobcats (7)