For the second night in a row Oklahoma City is off and for the second consecutive night the Thunder will rely upon other teams to help them improve their standing in the West. Thursday night wasn’t kind to OKC as the Jazz pulled off a 131-124 win at Orlando to take sole possession of the #11 spot, sitting just a half game back from New Orleans at #10. For the Thunder it means that they’re now tied only with Portland at the #11 spot with the two teams below them (Houston and San Antonio) having been eliminated.
If there was something good that happened on Thursday night it was that Golden State dropped it’s game at Memphis and fell to the #6 spot. The Warriors are only 2.5 games in front of OKC right now, proving that there’s still plenty of room to move up if everything falls into place. There are two games tonight that could have a direct impact on the Thunder’s pursuit of a Top 10 finish in the West.
Portland at Philadelphia (6:00 PM) – Either way, OKC will not be tied with anyone after tonight. A win for the Trail Blazers puts them even with Utah, at #11, and a half game ahead of the Thunder. A loss would put the Trail Blazers a half game behind OKC in the #13 spot. The 76ers are 8.5-point favorites over Portland.
Toronto at LA Lakers (9:30 PM) – A loss by the Lakers could shake some things up at the bottom of the Western Conference standings. LA is just barely in possession of the #9 seed and dropping this game would draw them even with Utah at 32-35 on the season, placing them just a half a game in front of OKC, and opening a pathway for the Thunder to potentially jump into the Top 10 on Saturday. The Raptors are 1.5-point favorites over LA.
The Thunder have a huge opportunity ahead of them on Saturday evening when they play at New Orleans. A win there would allow them to make up a one game difference with the Pelicans.
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