NBA Playoff Picture: Nuggets In Playoffs, Jazz In Pole Position For No. 8

The results in the East were pretty straightforward on Saturday: the Miami Heat conceded the No. 1 seed by losing to the Washington Wizards, the Philadelphia 76ers are a game away from clinching their spot after beating the Indiana Pacers, and the race is still on between those Sixers and the New York Knicks for No. 7.

The West is a little trickier, though we're now down to one spot at stake.

The Denver Nuggets punched their ticket to the postseason with a win over the Phoenix Suns; because the Dallas Mavericks lost, Denver actually launched into the No. 6 seed. The Utah Jazz beat the Magic in overtime to move to one game ahead of Phoenix and the Houston Rockets (who edged the Warriors) for the No. 8 spot.

That puts the Jazz just one win away from the playoffs. If Utah beats Phoenix on Tuesday, the Jazz are in. If Phoenix wins and beats the Spurs on Wednesday, the Suns are in. If the Suns win Tuesday, lose to the Spurs and the Jazz lose to the Blazers on Thursday, and the Rockets beat the Heat and Hornets this week, Houston would make the playoffs.

The Utah Jazz or Phoenix Suns will likely be in the NBA playoffs. This is crazy.

Other than Dallas' loss, which dropped the Mavs to No. 7, the other Western result of note was the Memphis Grizzlies' victory, which pulled them within a half-game of the L.A. Clippers for No. 4.

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