3. Grizzlies win, move closer to playoffs
Headlines: The Memphis Grizzlies beat the Phoenix Suns 114-109. The San Antonio Spurs lose to the Toronto Raptors 110-106 and the Chicago Bulls 110-109.
What it means: The Grizzlies and the Spurs are in the toughest competition right now for that Western Conference eighth seed. Currently, the Grizzlies find themselves two games up on the Spurs, and sitting in the playoff picture. However, the race was much closer at the beginning of the weekend.
The Spurs and Grizzlies, at one point, were only separated by a half game, and every win mattered for Memphis if they wanted to stay in the playoff picture. Then, the Spurs dropped two straight games (part of a string of three loses), and the Grizzlies picked up a win against the Suns to give themselves a little breathing room. That’s something that’s going to be very important in the near future, as the Spurs will face the Utah Jazz next and the Grizzlies will have to play the Denver Nuggets.
Memphis has been out playing anybody’s expectations over the past month or so, and the great run they’ve gone on since Christmas Day (11-4) has put them into a playoff picture that almost nobody had them in. It’d be a long jump to the seventh seed, but at the rate Memphis has been performing, it may not be impossible.