Western conference at-a-glance, 4/1

15 days of regular season remain and Golden State has inched closer to earning home court advantage throughout the entire NBA playoffs. In losing to the Warriors, the Clippers lost ground in their pursuit of home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

Last night: Warriors 110, Clippers 106; Spurs 95, Heat 81

Golden State rallied from 17 points down to beat the Clippers in Los Angeles, 110-106. They extended their winning streak to ten games, while snapping the Clippers streak at seven. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson combined to make 14-of-25 shots in the final three quarters for 47 points after making just 2-of-11 shot in the opening quarter. The Warriors are now 5.5 games up (with eight to play) on the Hawks for home court throughout. Warriors Draymond Green missed the game to rest his shins. Clippers Jamal Crawford missed his 14th straight game with a calf injury, although is tentatively scheduled to return within the week.

San Antonio won on the road at Miami, 95-81, leading nearly wire-to-wire. Kawhi Leonard scored 22 points in 38 minutes, Tony Parker was the only other Spur to play more than 26 minutes, he played 26:05. They finished March 12-3 for the league’s second best record, behind only Golden State, who went 16-2.

Tonight: Spurs at Magic; Kings at Rockets; Mavericks at Thunder; Clippers at Blazers

Six of the top eight teams are in action tonight. The Rockets host the Kings, who are without Rudy Gay who suffered a concussion on Monday night. They could also be without DeMarcus Cousins, who say out  Monday’s loss to Memphis with various minor injuries. Reports also suggest the Kings are contemplating shutting Cousins down for the remainder of the season. Houston is 2-0 against the Kings, though one of the wins came in overtime in Sacramento. Since Houston plays at Dallas again on Wednesday, Dwight Howard will only play in one of the two games and it has not been determined which one that will be. Houston is banged up as usual, with Donatas Motiejunas (back) and Kostas Papnikolaou (ankle) out and Terrence Jones (pneumothorax) still questionable. Pat Beverley had surgery on his left wrist on Tuesday and is out for the season.

The Clippers try to start a new win streak as they play at the Blazers. Los Angeles has won two of the three games against Portland, including the one previous meeting in Portland. That night they got 25 points from Crawford, who is not expected to play (calf). Also Portland was without Robin Lopez in that game, but had Wes Matthews back then in January, but he’s now out for the season (achilles).

The Spurs are at the Magic where they can clinch a playoff berth with a victory. San Antonio has beaten Orlando seven straight times. They have also won four straight overall, topping those opponents by an average of 21.2 points per game. On the second night of a back-to-back, it’s likely some Spurs will get a rest.

If Oklahoma City has any hopes of avoiding Golden State in the first round, then they need a win tonight at home against the seventh seeded Mavericks. Monta Ellis (calf) missed the Mavericks last game, a 104-99 loss to the Pacers, but he went through practice on Tuesday and is listed questionable for this one. Oklahoma City can even the season series with a win and have won six straight at home and 20 of their last 22 in their home arena. Westbrook is averaging 31 points (1st in NBA) and 10.2 assists (2nd in NBA) per game since the beginning of February. Obviously, the Thunder continue forward without Kevin Durant, who had bone graft surgery on his right foot Tuesday and will be held out of basketball activities for four to six months. Nick Collison ankle), Andre Roberson (ankle) and Serge Ibaka (knee surgery) are also out.

Here’s the look at the standings and the remaining schedule. Click the graphic to enlarge. Check back daily for the latest updates.


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