Denver 105 Houston 102
Suns 83-68


The Blazers WISH they had Bassy back now.

"Here we are and we are not out of it no matter what.
We have got to thrive on it and enjoy it and see what we can do here."

- Steve Nash

I have saved the "must-win" drama until now. But tonight, the Suns must win against the Portland Trailblazers. Period. Because this may be as easy an opponent as the Suns will encounter for the duration of the season.

, the Nuggets must beat the Rockets. O.K., maybe not must, but it would certainly help, and the Suns could claim the 8th seed -- for a moment at least -- and we will rejoice and sing and dance!

So, about the depleted Blazers, here are some facts:

  • Portland has lost two in a row and four of five, most recently a 104-103 defeat in Sacramento yesterday.
  • The Blazers have given up an average of 104 points and 48.9 percent shooting over their last five games.
  • The Blazers are 3-11 on the road since Feb. 15
  • Raymond Felton will not be playing tonight, LaMarcus Adridge is done for the year as you all know.

Our buddies over at the Bedge have a prediction for us (thank you, Dave):

The Suns are deep, they're motivated, they're skilled, and they're home. This has all the signs of an absolute massacre. I'm struggling to find any way the Blazers can find an advantage here. Even if they score big with guards those same guards will let the Suns have the points right back. Offensive rebounding could be a point of attack I suppose. Hit a billion threes? I don't know.

There has been no word on Steve Nash's hip situation, although the quotes seem to be alluding to the fact that he is probable at the moment. Stay tuned for more on that.

As for the rest of the Suns, hopefully Grant Hill is feeling better with some rest, and we must expect the remainder of the squad to be angry, hungry, with their eyes focused on what is directly in front of them-the current foe, PTL. If the Suns go out and play their game, they should be fine. Like Elvis said, "Take Care of Business." Let Denver and Houston do their thing, and if the NBA gods want it to happen, the Suns will benefit from the outcome of that match-up.

Elvis' plane, The "Lisa Marie":


[Note by Wil Cantrell, 04/16/12 12:59 PM MST ]

Paul Coro reports Nash to play tonight, Hill will NOT.

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Phoenix Suns 125, Portland Trail Blazers 107 After a brutal stretch of road games, the Phoenix Suns have returned home with a chance to move into eighth in the Western Conference standings. With a...

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March 21, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; An actor portraying Captain Morgan poses for a photo during the game between the Denver Nuggets and the Detroit Pistons at the Pepsi Center. The Nuggets defeated the Pistons, 116-115. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

Sunday was a good day for the Phoenix Suns. They returned home after playing seven of their last eight games on the road in the span of just 12 days. That included three back-to-backs, just three days off, and six games against playoff teams.

The 5-3 record given those circumstances is impressive and while the the Suns didn't finish the stretch in the money, they certainly didn't hurt their chances either. I'm not sure you could have realistically asked for more.

As for the rest of the West, the Rockets and Nuggets began a back-to-back, home and home series in Denver with a win for George Karl's boys. That dropped the Rockets to just one full game ahead of Phoenix. If Denver can win on Monday on the road and the Suns can beat the depleted Trail Blazers (they better), the eighth seed will belong to the Suns with just a week of games left.

Go Nuggets!

Looking in the rear view mirror, the Utah Jazz are beat up in their back court and have lost their last two games and face the Mavericks on Monday. The Mavericks, by the way, aren't totally secure in the 6th seed either.

Full standings after the jump.


Denver Nuggets (33-27, 7th) BEAT Houston Rockets (32-28, 8th)

Rockets Vs. Nuggets recap: Nuggets blow out Rockets; on to the rematch - Denver Stiffs
After pretty much lethargically going through the motions in the first half (trailing 49-43) the Nuggets turned on the afterburners in the third quarter ... outscoring the Rockets 37 -19. That's right, the Nuggets dominated a team coming out of the locker room! Hard to believe isn't it?

Dallas Mavericks (34-27, 6th) LOSE to Los Angeles Lakers (39-22, 3rd)

Mavericks fall to Lakers in OT, 112-108 - Mavs Moneyball
no amount of pondering can erase the fact that Dirk Nowitzki had a piss poor first half and the Lakers were on the receiving end of some pretty meh referee calls. Oh, and the Lakers outscored Dallas in the paint 50-32. SO there's also that. I'm done complaining.

Monday's Key Games:

  • Suns vs. Trail Blazers (duh), 7pm on FSN AZ
  • Nuggets at Rockets, 5pm on League Pass
  • Mavericks at Jazz, 6pm on League Pass

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