After weeks of bouncing between the 9th and 10th spots in the NBA Western Conference standings, and getting oh-so-close to the playoff seeding yet never reaching the summit, the Phoenix Suns have finally done it. Thanks to a much needed win against the Portland Trail Blazers last night, as well as some help from the Denver Nuggets who knocked off the Houston Rockets, the Suns are officially in the 8th and final playoff spot ... at least for now.
But this is no time to rest easy.
The Suns now have five important games left during the regular season, with which they are in full control of their own destiny. However, they must continue to play each and every game like it is their last, as they are in a statistical dead heat with the Houston Rockets who the Suns merely have a tie-breaker over. Not only that, they also remain only a half-game ahead of the pesky Utah Jazz who also defeated the Dallas Mavericks last night in a triple overtime thriller.
Here are the five games remaining for the Suns to close out the regular season:
|Oklahoma City||Wed 04/18||7:00 PM MST|
|Los Angeles Clippers||Thu 04/19||7:30 PM MST|
|Denver||Sat 04/21||2:30 PM MST|
|@ Utah||Tue 04/24||7:30 PM MST|
|San Antonio||Wed 04/25||7:30 PM MST|
As you can see, a Suns playoff berth is still anything but a sure thing. But for now, the Suns have reached their goal and should feel very proud of what they've accomplished ...They just can't get complacent.
Read on after the jump for a look at the current standings, a quick recap of last night's action and what to keep an eye on tonight.
Here are the most up to date NBA Western Conference standings:
Key Games Last Night:
Phoenix Suns BEAT Portland Trail Blazers 125-107
Los Suns jumped out to a 35-24 first quarter lead. After some Luke Babbitt and Nolan Smith nonsense, the Suns restored order, going on an 11--2 second quarter run. Channing Frye scored 11 quick points, and the Suns played a modicum of defense to slow the Blazers and exit the half with a 66-53 lead. Steve Nash dished 10 assists in his first 17 minutes of play, and every Suns starter save Nash scored in double figures.
Houston Rockets LOST to Denver Nuggets 105-102
This time, it really seemed like they had them. Yet, as has become an unbreakable habit, the Rockets were unable to get stops when they needed them late in the game and fell, 105-102.
Utah Jazz BEAT Dallas Mavericks in Triple OT 123-121
Jazz needed to win this game, and they held on strong after all the threes Dallas took, and held on to win this game. Al Jefferson finished with 28 points (off of 25 shots), and had 26 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 1 steal and assist.
Games to watch tonight:
The only game that is remotely in the Suns' interest tonight would be the Memphis Grizzlies at the Minnesota Timberwolves. However since the Grizzlies currently have a three game lead on the Phoenix, there is very little hope of the Suns catching them at this point.
Stay Tuned ...