How Tuesday’s results affect the image of the Eastern and Western Conference playoffs | Canada


The NBA ranking game schedule is drawing to a close, but there is still a lot to play.The San Antonio Spurs and Phoenix Suns kept their playoff hopes up with wins. The race for the eighth seed in the West got even closer with these results.

Here’s how the standings were affected by Tuesday’s seven-game roster:


Rookie Keldon Johnson put in an impressive performance, finishing with a double-double of 24 points and 11 rebounds in 25 minutes off the bench and DeMar DeRozan led all Spurs starters with 23 points on a 9-for-13 shot.

It was another balanced offensive effort from San Antonio, as the team saw seven different players finish in double digits.

James Harden was out for the Rockets, but Russell Westbrook returned to the lineup, finishing with 20 points, six assists and five rebounds in 27 minutes. Jeff Green added 17 points and rookie Chris Clemons scored 13 points in 16 minutes off the bench.

What this means: Spurs still have a shot at making the playoffs, but they’ll need some help.

San Antonio is halfway through the game behind Portland and is stuck in a three-way tie with the Grizzlies and Suns.

The Rockets are still the fourth-seeded West, with a 1.5-game lead over the fifth-seeded Thunder.


The Nets ran 21-3 in the first quarter, led by no less than 21 points, and essentially delivered an overall dominant performance despite the absence of Jarrett Allen, Joe Harris and Caris LeVert.

In their absence, Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot and Jeremiah Martin each finished with a record of 24 points each. Dzanan Musa added 17 points, six rebounds and six assists in 35 minutes of action.

The Magic, who were without Mo Bamba, Aaron Gordon and Terrence Ross, were led by 18 points in 22 minutes from Markelle Fultz, who left the game early after tweaking her hip. Orlando can hardly afford more hits in his rotation as he prepares for a playoff date with the Milwaukee Bucks.

What this means: Of all the games, this result is the most insignificant, as Brooklyn is locked in the No.7 seed in the East and Orlando is locked in as the No.8.


Another day… another victory for the Phoenix Suns!

The Suns continue their unbeaten run in the bubble, rising to a 7-0 record, behind another great performance from young star Devin Booker.

Booker had 35 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, plus a posterior dunk!

Booker is now the Suns franchise leader in 30-point games, with 91 in his short career.

The 76ers, who were without Joel Embiid, Al Horford, Tobias Harris, Josh Richardson and Ben Simmons, were led by 23 points from Alec Burks, 22 points from Raul Neto and a near triple-double from Kyle O’Quinn, who has finished with nine points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists.

What this means: The Suns are now tied for ninth seed with the Memphis Grizzlies and San Antonio Spurs. All three teams follow the Trail Blazers, eighth seed, by a half game.


Jayson Tatum filled it in for the Celtics, scoring 29 points on an effective 10 of 13 from the field and 4 of 5 on the 3-point line. He led six double-digit players that night, with Kemba Wlaker and Gordon Hayward collecting 19 points each.

Ja Morant led the Grizzlies with 26 points and 13 assists for their 14th double-double of the season as they drop to a 1-6 record in the bubble.

What this means: Following the Portland Trail Blazers’ victory over the Dallas Mavericks, the Grizzlies now fall from eighth seed and now sit ninth. They must win their final ranking game against the Milwaukee Bucks to secure their place in the play-in tournament. If they lose, they’ll need the Suns and Spurs to lose their last ranking games as well to sneak in.

Portland Trail Blazers 134, Dallas Mavericks 131



Damian Lillard continued his scorching form in Orlando, tying his career record with 61 POINTS against the Dallas Mavericks, becoming the sixth player in NBA history with three career games at 60 points and joining Wilt Chamberlain as the lone player to have never had three 60-point games in a single season.

He was on fire end to end, but took over in the fourth quarter, scoring 22 points and helping on eight of the Blazers’ 36 points in the final phase, including that deep triple to tie him late.


What this means: With the win, the Blazers are now in exclusive possession of the eighth seed, 0.5 games ahead of the Grizzlies, Suns and Spurs. If they beat the Brooklyn Nets in their final ranking game, they are guaranteed a spot in the play-in tournament.


The Kings and Pelicans were knocked out of the playoffs earlier this week, which means this game made a lot less sense than it did when it first appeared on the calendar.

Harrison Barnes led the Kings with 25 points and eight rebounds as the Kings got just their second victory in the bubble.

Jahlil Okafor put in an impressive result for the Pelicans, registering a team-high 21 points, while Frank Jackson added 18 on the bench and Lonzo Ball 16.


Another match with no impact on the standings, but there was no shortage of drama after Giannis Antetokounmpo was ejected after hitting Moe Wagner early in the second quarter after being called up on a charge.

Key starters missing from Eric Bledsoe, Wes Matthews and Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez was selected, recording a team-high 24 points on 9 of 11 shots and a perfect 5 of 5 of three.

Sterling Brown added 23 points off the bench and Frank Mason 19 as the Bucks move to a 3-4 record in seven league games.

The opinions on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.


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