This is the Hangover. This is where I get drunk on the NBA as I recap last night’s action as well as a few things going on around the league. Here’s your word vomit.
BRK 107 (16-57) @ ATL 92 (37-36)
PHX 106 (22-52) @ CHA 120 (33-40)
CHI 109 (35-39) @ MIL 94 (37-36)
SAC 98 (28-45) @ LAC 97 (44-31)
OKC 125 (41-31) @ HOU 137 (51-22)
PHI 94 (27-46) @ IND 107 (37-36)
MIA 108 (35-38) @ BOS 112 (48-26)
MEM 94 (40-33) @ GS 106 (59-14)
NO 115 (31-42) @ DEN 90 (35-38)
POR 97 (35-38) @ LAL 81 (21-52)
(PHOTO CREDIT: Mark J. Terrill/AP.)
BATTLE TO MAKE THE PLAYOFFS
The Blazers (who beat the Lakers) and the Nuggets (who got creamed by the Pelicans) are both 35-38 after Sunday night. Technically, the Blazers are the ones that are standing in the #8 seed.
In a twist of fate, they happen to be facing each other on Tuesday. Now the winner won’t outright give them the eighth seed and I wish this were the final game of the season for more Friday Night Lights-like drama. But it’ll give the winning team a one-game edge and that it’ll help them carry momentum for the last two weeks of the season. I think. Because… well…
Let’s have a look at the remaining schedule of both teams:
BLAZERS have 7 home and 2 road games left: v DEN, v HOU, v PHX, @ MIN, @ UTA, v MIN, v UTA, v SA, v NO.
The ones against Houston, Utah, and San Antonio will be tough. But being at home really, really helps them.
NUGGETS have 2 home and 7 road games left: @ POR, @ CHA, @ MIA @ NO, @ HOU, v NO, OKC, @ DAL, @ OKC.
No matter how you slice it, seven road games out of nine is tough. The game against Portland starts a five-game roadie. They NEED that win on Tuesday.
Going against whatever I said in the past, I like Portland to come out ahead of this one. The schedule is just in their favor even if they lose on Tuesday.
A rematch between the Blazers and the Warriors would be juicy although Nuggets/Warriors would be a fantastic track meet.
I’ll assume the unassuming Spurs won’t catch the Warriors with two weeks left in the season.
THE REST OF THE LEAGUE
I mean, the Warriors have won six straight. Kevin Durant is believed to be ready in time for the postseason. So the Warriors are happy shiny people right now.
Boston has now caught Cleveland to be in a virtual tie for the first seed. Imagine if Boston goes into the playoffs as the #1 seed? That’s a hell of a progression step for the Celtics.
The Clippers had an 18-point lead against the Kings with five minutes left. Normally, that should be where everyone calls it a day and goes partying in La La Land for the rest of the night. The Kings had other ideas, though. The Clips lost the lead and eventually the game in a stunning comeback by Sactown. That’s a team trying to tank the season away, right? And I just wrote the other day, too, that the Clippers’ potential is awesome. Sheesh.
With the Heat losing to the Celtics, they are now only a half-game ahead of the Bulls. Meanwhile, 5-7 all have 37-36 records. It’s complicated between the Bucks, Pacers, and Hawks. This won’t be all fixed in the East until the last day. Remember that the Wizards and Raptors are hot on the trail of both the Cavs and Celtis. Yet, the Hornets, who are 11th, still have hope to make it. They’re 33-40 and THAT is only two games behind the Heat. Hi, Pistons. I didn’t forget you. They could be in the picture next week.
We might have an exciting race down the stretch. Let’s enjoy that period.
(PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Wyke/AP.)
That makes it 36 for Russell Westbrook.
39 points, 11 rebounds, 13 assists.
Still on pace to tie Oscar Robertson for most triple-doubles in a season.
WATCH THIS PLAY
(VIDEO CREDIT: NBA.)
This is where the Kings complete the comeback. Willie Cauley-Stein hits the go-ahead lay-up here.
Follow Rey-Rey on Twitter at @TheNoLookPass for all tweets about the NBA. Also, check out his podcast, Rey-Rey Is Fundamental.