Everything is okay...mmmkay?

Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-US PRESSWIRE.

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

Ouch.

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:

Wc_standings_04-17-2012_medium

Key Games Last Night:

Phoenix Suns BEAT Portland Trail Blazers 125-107

Suns Trounce Trail Blazers, End the Night Tied for 8th in the Western Conference -- Bright Side of the Sun

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

Rockets Fall To Nuggets, Out of Playoffs in 105-102 Loss -- The Dream Shake

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

Mavericks Vs. Jazz Post Game Thread: Utah Wins in Triple OT 123-121 -- SLC Dunk

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 ...


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It is a good morning, whether you are slowly dying in a cubicle or stuck in traffic, or lounging by the pool...The Suns won last night, and if the season ended right this very second, they'd be playing the playoffs.


Suns vs. Blazers Full Game Highlights - 4-16-2012 NBA Game Recap (via AllDayNBAhighlights)




PHOENIX — Tonight we learned what happens when a team in the midst of a massive tank job meets a team in desperate need of a win to vault into one of the top eight sought-after spots in the...

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It was that easy.

I recall reading a comment in the preview from someone that went like this:

"If the Suns lose this, they don't deserve to be in the playoffs."

And that was a truth that any Suns fan knew. Perhaps the easiest game left on the schedule, a home game Vs. Portland. An easy victory coupled with a little luck (Denver taking out Houston) could place the Suns in a tie for the WC 8th seed.

At some point in the mid-to-late 1st quarter the word came down that Denver indeed did their duty. They downed the Houston Rockets, 105-102. The rest was rightfully up to your Phoenix Suns.

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.

The Suns extended their lead to 19 on an 8-0 3rd quarter run. The starters shared the rock, taking turns hitting shots like it was a preseason game against the NAU Lumberjacks. Jared Dudley added 8, Channing Frye, 7. The Suns concluded the 3rd with 31 points, their third consecutive quarter of 30 points or more, while shooting 62% from the field.

GAME OVER

In the 4th, the Suns second unit held the lead solid, with Markieff Morris, and Sebastian Telfair providing the offensive punch.

HELLO 8 SEED!

BULLET WORTHY

  • The Suns starters logged a +112. Shannon Brown was the minutes leader with 30
  • Steve Nash - 13 assists, 6 points
  • Marcin Gortat - 20 points, 10 boards
  • Shannon Brown - 16 points
  • Jared Dudley - 18 points
  • Channing Frye - 19 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals
  • Markieff Morris - 14 points, 6 boards
  • Sebastian Telfair - 12 points, 3 assists, 3 boards

* Editorial Note by Omaha Sun: Tonight's victory extended the Suns' undefeated streak when the Bright Side's own Watdogg has his art featured on the Suns Free Throw cover. Keep it up Dustin!

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    Denver 105 Houston 102
    Suns 83-68
    FINISH IT UP.


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