The Los Angeles Clippers (45-21) and Memphis Grizzlies (44-19) entered Wednesday night tied for the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference. One day later, it’s Memphis who has sole possession of the seed, after Wednesday night’s 96-85 win over the Clippers at Staples Center.
The defensively-minded Grizzlies team forced the Clippers offense to play in the half court, which took away any possible highlight reel dunks that NBA teams have become so accustomed to seeing. The Clippers were just 6-of-26 from behind the arc, and shot 43 percent from the field overall.
It was a loss that probably stung a bit more than the others this season because the Clippers are now in danger of losing home court advantage in the playoffs. This loss puts them a half game behind the Grizzlies for the third seed, but the Denver Nuggets (44-22) are the cause for concern.
Denver beat the New York Knicks (38-24) last night 117-94, moving them just a game and a half behind the Clippers for the No. 4 seed. The way the Clippers started the season, it was almost certain that this team would finish with at least a top four seed, but everyone in sports knows it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.
Just two weeks ago, the Clippers were a game and a half behind the No. 2 seed Oklahoma City Thunder (48-17), but now trail them for by four and a half games. The Western Conference standings are far from being locked in at this point, especially with one month of regular season basketball left to play.
There are still 16 games remaining for the Clippers this season, so maintaining a top-four seed is certainly possible, but losing that seed can happen just as easily.
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