The final Western Conference playoff spot will be cliched on the final night of the season this Wednesday. The Oklahoma City Thunder and New Orleans Pelicans will both enter their games with a 44-37 record.
Tonight the Pelicans marched into Minnesota and took a 100-88 victory from the Timberwolves. Anthony Davis finished with 24 points, 11 rebounds, and 6 blocks. Tyreke Evans and Eric Gordon both added in 22 points also.
On the other hand, the Thunder pulled out a 101-90 win over the Portland Trail Blazers. Russell Westbrook and Enes Kanter dominated the game right from the opening tip. Westbrook had 36 points along with 7 assists while Kanter racked up 27 points and 13 boards.
The story is simple for the Pelicans. Win and you are in. New Orleans plays the Spurs Wednesday night with all the marbles on the line. If they do lose, they still have a chance for the playoffs. In the case of a loss, they would need the Thunder to lose on Wednesday in order to make the post season.
For the Thunder, they need the Pelicans to lose. If New Orleans wins, then Westbrook and OKC are eliminated from the playoffs. But if Anthony Davis and crew lose, and the Thunder beat the Timberwolves, then they are the 8th seed and in the playoffs.
Although this would never happen, imagine a play-in game between the Thunder and Pelicans. Winner takes all, and gets the 8th seed for the Western Conference playoffs. It stinks that this will never happen because it would be one hell of a game. But, what we do get to see is two of the best players in the league, Westbrook and Davis give it one last push for the playoffs.
One Night. One Spot. One Team.
Make sure you tune in for the pre-playoff NBA drama on Wednesday night.
Watch: Andrew Wiggins posterized Omer Asik during their loss to the Pelicans tonight.
Playoff Picture: During the Trail Blazers' matchup with the Thunder tonight, star forward Nicholas Batum left the game early in the 1st quarter with an apparent right knee injury. Then, in the second quarter CJ McCollum went down with a rolled ankle in the second quarter. To make it worse the Blazers were already without LaMarcus Aldridge and Aaron Affalo due to minor injuries. Hopefully Portland can get rested up and rebooted for the playoffs. Their team made a second round exit last year, but once again, they have potential to make a deep run into the playoffs.