Enormous Consequences is a daily look at the most impactful games in the NBA's playoff races.
The Memphis Grizzlies had a critical game against the L.A. Clippers on Saturday...in which they got hammered. The Grizzlies have a critical game against the L.A. Lakers on Sunday (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN), and given the way this road trip has gone for Memphis and how good the Lakers are at home, it's hard to imagine a different result.
Memphis has dropped three straight and is locked in a three-way tie for No. 6 in the West with Utah and Denver. Houston, which lost to Dallas in another Enormous Consequence game on Saturday, sits a half-game behind at No. 9 in the conference. Houston is inactive, so a Sunday loss for the Grizzlies would drop Memphis into a tie with the Rockets on the edge.
The Lakers seem comfortable at No. 3, a full three games behind No. 2 San Antonio and three games ahead of the Clippers and Mavericks. But there's plenty of time left, and every game remains critical.
Only one other Sunday game features playoff contenders from the same conference facing off, as the Timberwolves -- sitting on the outer edge of contention at 3.5 games out of the No. 8 -- host the Nuggets (3:30 p.m. ET, League Pass), who badly need wins to separate from the Rockets and Suns and keep pace with the Jazz and Grizzlies.
There are three interconference games of Enormous Consequence, none bigger than the Heat at the Thunder (8 p.m. ET, ESPN). The game doesn't have practical standings repercussions, but as a potential Finals preview and a match-up between the league's top two MVP candidates, it's a big deal.
The Sixers, engaged in a fierce battle for seeding in the East, have the good fortune of visiting the Spurs (7 p.m. ET, League Pass) while the Hawks (also fighting for seed) host the Jazz (fighting for a spot, period). That one is slated for 6 p.m. ET on League Pass.