There was no let-up in NBA action this weekend. In one of the tightest playoff positioning races in recent memory, a lot of games between the big teams came down to the wire.
We saw the Phoenix Suns monetarily take first place in the Western Conference by beating the Jazz 121-100 on Saturday morning. The Jazz re-took the first seed, though, by beating the Toronto Raptors in a tight Sunday game.
Meanwhile, the Lakers, who finally saw their superstar duo of Anthony Davis and LeBron James take to the floor for the first time in months, had their party spoiled by the Kings in a 110-106 loss. The Kings, more importantly, were missing two key starters in De’Aaron Fox and Harrison Barnes.
The Lakers loss was compounded by the fact that the Blazers pulled off a big 128-109 win against the short-handed Nets, which put them within one game of the Lakers and Mavericks for the fifth and sixth seed. The defending champs are now in danger of being forced into the play-in tournament.
Of course, we can’t forget the 60-piece that Jayson Tatum pulled off against the San Antonio Spurs in a barn-burning 143-140 overtime victory. Tatum scored 31 of those points in the fourth quarter and OT.
The Indiana Pacers set a brand new record as well, recording a 57-point blowout on the road against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the largest victory by a road team in NBA history.
The last game of Sunday also finished wildly, a hard-fought battle between the third and fourth-seed teams in the Clippers and Nuggets. It was pivotal because the 110-104 win gave Denver the tie-breaker in the season series. They have most of their final games on the road so this was a big one to take third place.
The action’s not going to let up on Monday, either. There are huge matchups with playoff implications:
- Bucks vs. Nets (3:30 AM)
- Celtics vs. Blazers (7:30 AM)
- Spurs vs. 76ers (8:00 AM)
- Thunder vs. Suns (8:00 AM)
- Mavericks vs. Kings (8:00 AM)
- Hornets vs. Heat (8:00 AM)
- Lakers vs. Raptors (10:00 AM)
Because of the play-in tournaments, we can expect this to be one of the craziest regular season finishes in history. For all of us basketball fans, this is nothing but a win. It’s rare this late in a season for every game to matter for so many contenders.