Oklahoma City Thunder vs. San Antonio Spurs (8pm ET Tuesday, TNT)
The Thunder have been scuffling along as of late, recently dropping four of six while trying to rest Westbrook and Durant, but last night, the Dynamic Duo laced them up to bid adieu to Kobe Bryant with a 112-79 dismantling the Los Angeles Lakers. In fact, Westbrook and Durant said goodbye in historic fashion with the former notching his record-tying 18th triple-double of the season, the latter scoring 20 or more for the 64th game in a row – the longest such streak since Jordan in ‘91. The win brought the Thunder’s record to 55-26 heading into the final game of the season. The Thunder will be the third seed in the West, but their opponent in the first round has yet to be determined.
The Spurs have been coasting their way to the end of the season as they, too, have been resting their guys as much as possible in preparation for a long push into the playoffs. As a result, they recently endured their sole three-game losing streak of the season and have lost five of their last 11. The latest loss was 92-86 to the Warriors, but at least it was part of history as Golden State tied the single-season record for wins at 72. The Spurs were without Tim Duncan and might’ve been better off without Tony Parker, Danny Green and David West, who combined to shoot five of 21, leaving San Antonio well short of the firepower necessary to counter Steph Curry’s 37 points. San Antonio will be the second seed in the West, but their opponent is yet to be determined.
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Los Angeles Clippers (10:30pm ET Tuesday, TNT)
Woe betide the once mighty Grizzlies, who, not so long ago, were 30-20 and had enough talent to keep even the league’s best honest. But then Marc Gasol got hurt and Mike Conley got hurt, and, well, there’s just so much Zach Randolph can do. On Saturday, they were up 10 on the Warriors with 6:22 to play before falling 100-99 as Memphis outrebounded Golden State and had fewer turnovers but shot just 39% from the field. After watching their lead evaporate, the Griz then watched Lance Stephenson miss a pair of potential game-winners – a four-footer and a 15-footer – in the final four seconds. Now, with the playoffs just days away, they find themselves at just 42-38, and they could finish anywhere from the fifth to the seventh seed.
The Los Angeles Clippers appear to be rounding into playoff form at just the right time, having won nine of their last 10, including all five games since Blake Griffin’ infuriatingly overdue return from a bad shoulder, a broken hand, and a four-game suspension. The latest triumph was 98-91 victory over the Dallas Mavericks after Jamal Crawford came off the bench for LA to score a game-high 22 as JJ Reddick scored 20 on eight-of-10 shooting and Griffin posted a 17-11-7. The Clips will be the fourth seed in the playoffs, but, again, don’t yet know who they’ll play, yet.