As of today, Oklahoma City Thunder was the team with the most to lose, as there was still a lot of the game to go. They showed up in Salt Lake City and completely dominated a Utah Jazz team that was short-handed.
The victory ensured that Oklahoma City would maintain its hold on the top slot in the race for the last play-in spot in the Western Conference. They are now sitting in second place behind the Dallas Mavericks, who have a record of 38-42 themselves. OKC now holds the tiebreaker advantage over Dallas, which means that all they need to do to ensure their participation in the play-in round is win their regular season finale on Monday against the Memphis Grizzlies. In order to move up into the 10th seed, Dallas needs to win their next two games and hope that Oklahoma City suffers a defeat.
Both Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey came close to a triple-double in their respective games, which was a major factor in Oklahoma City’s victory. While the Australian player provided 17 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists, the Canadian player finished with 22 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists. OKC may not have the star power of Dallas, but they make up for it with their youth, cohesion, and defense.
After dominating the game from start to finish against the Philadelphia 76ers, the Miami Heat were able to clinch the Southeast Division championship.
Despite the victory, Miami will participate in the play-in round of the playoff tournament. The Heat now sit one game behind the Brooklyn Nets in the race for the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference. The Heat’s remaining games are against the Washington Wizards and the Orlando Magic. The final two games of the season for the Nets will be played against the Magic and the Sixers.
The Phoenix Suns, in contrast to other elite teams in the Western Conference, have a lot of good reasons to remain playing the same lineup in the last week of the regular season. They have to play as many possessions as possible with Kevin Durant in the starting lineup, and KD had a good game against the Denver Nuggets tonight.
The Nuggets were able to rest their key players since they had already clinched the number one seed in the Western Conference. Durant scored 12 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter to help the Warriors get away from the Nuggets. In addition, he contributed to the Suns’ seventh consecutive victory by grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out four assists.