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Tight Race for Top in the West, GSW, LAL Fortify Play-In Spots


PhilBoxing.com




The Minnesota Timberwolves and the OKC Thunder are currently tied on top of the Western Conference after the T-Wolves lost and the Thunder won their respective scheduled home games today.

Minnesota dropped its home game to the visiting Milwaukee Bucks, 112-97 while the surging Thunder won again over the Washington Wizards, 147-106 on their home floor at Paycom Center.

With both toting an identical 39-18 record, the lead is however not safe from the pursuing LA Clippers and defending champions, the Denver Nuggets who are tied for second at 37-18 and 38-19 with still 25 games to go before the regular season ends as one or both of these teams is capable of a strong finishing kick, so to speak. The Clippers and the Nuggets also won their games today with LAC winning over the Memphis Grizzlies 101-95 and the Nuggets beating the Portland Trailblazers, 127-112.

In a virtual battle of teams with big frontlines, the Bucks proved steadier with Giannis Antetokoumpo and Brooks Lopez prevailing over Rudy Gobert and Karl Anthony Towns; posting a total of 49 points as against the T-Wolves duo's 34 points. The T-Wolves twin towers though pulled down more boards at 33 as against the duo's combined 16. Damian Lillard for the Bucks and Anthony Edwards of the T-Wolves also cancelled each out in scoring. So it comes down to the bench contribution which went in favor of the Bucks with Bobby Portis scoring 14 points and 5 boards. Lillard also nearly missed a triple double with 21 points, 10 assists and 9 rebounds which Edwards tried to match with his 28, 5 and 9.

The Thunder ran away with the game, winning every quarter and posting a huge 80-55 lead by halftime. Star guard Shai Gilgeous Alexander and center Chet Holmgren collaborated beautifully with 31 points and 25 points respectively.

Meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors and the LA Lakers looked locked in their places in the play-in currently at 9th and 10th positions in the West following home wins today in their respective assignments.

The Warriors defeated the Charlotte Hornets 97-84 at their Chase Center and the Lakers beat the San Antonio Spurs, 123-118 at their Crypto.com Center.

Though both are still within reach of the top 8 in the West, there could be little motivation left as they would still be meeting current #7 Sacramento Kings or the #8 Phoenix Suns in the play in just the same. It would now be very difficult though not entirely impossible to dislodge current #5 New Orleans Pelicans or #6 Dallas Mavericks which are about four won games ahead to get a better positioning in the playoffs.

The author Teodoro Medina Reynoso is a veteran boxing radio talk show host living in the Philippines. He can be reached at teddyreynoso@yahoo.com and by phone 09215309477.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Teodoro Medina Reynoso.


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