A team is going to reach the Western Conference playoffs with a losing record for the first time in 23 years, which ordinarily would not be exciting news. On Thursday, four teams - Portland, Memphis, Phoenix and San Antonio - will finally decide which two clubs get spots in the play-in series to determine the No. 8 seed in the West playoffs. Portland and Memphis control their fates, while Phoenix and San Antonio must win and get help.
Mike Muscala made a 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds and the Oklahoma City Thunder overcame a 22-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat the Miami Heat 116-115 on Wednesday night. In a game largely played by reserves in the second half, Muscala hit two 3-pointers in the final 35 seconds for his only points of the game. ''I've got a great deal of respect for Mike Muscala just because he's a total pro and keeps himself ready,'' Thunder coach Billy Donovan said.
Paul George scored 27 points, Kawhi Leonard had 26 and the Los Angeles Clippers wrapped up the second seed in the Western Conference playoffs with a 124-111 victory over the third-seeded Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night. The Clippers will face seventh-seeded Dallas when the playoffs get going next week.