NBA playoff picture: Nuggets catch Clippers, Pacers extend lead


The Nuggets' 13th straight win coupled with a Clippers loss has moved Denver past Los Angeles in the Western Conference. In the Eastern Conference, the Pacers extended their lead for the No. 2 seed with a win.

The Denver Nuggets won their 13th straight game on Tuesday, setting a franchise record by grabbing an impressive road win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Coupled with the Los Angeles Clippers' loss in Sacramento to the Kings, the Nuggets have now caught the Clippers in the Western Conference standings.

Denver sits at 47-22, a half game ahead of Los Angeles. The Clippers still hold the No. 4 seed in the West because they're leading the Pacific Division, but the Nuggets would hold homecourt advantage in a playoffs series if the season ended today. The Memphis Grizzlies are percentage points ahead of both teams, and the Grizzlies will be hosting the Thunder on Wednesday night.

Nothing changed at the bottom of the West playoff picture, but there are several games on Wednesday that have playoff implications. The fading Utah Jazz will try and turn things around against the seventh-seeded Houston Rockets, and the sixth-seeded Golden State Warriors will look to grab a rare win in San Antonio against the Spurs.

Here are the West Standings:

Western Standings

San Antonio Spurs 67 51-16 .761
Oklahoma City Thunder 68 50-18 .735
Memphis Grizzlies 66 45-21 .682
Los Angeles Clippers 68 46-22 .676
Denver Nuggets 69 47-22 .681
Golden State Warriors 69 39-30 .565
Houston Rockets 67 36-31 .537
Los Angeles Lakers 69 36-33 .522
Utah Jazz 67 34-33 .507
Dallas Mavericks 67 32-35 .478
Portland Trail Blazers 67 31-36 .463
Minnesota Timberwolves 65 23-42 .354
Sacramento Kings 68 24-44 .353
Phoenix Suns 68 23-45 .338
New Orleans Hornets 68 22-46 .324

Over in the Eastern Conference, the Indiana Pacers extended their lead over the New York Knicks for the No. 2 seed to 1½ games with a blowout win over the Orlando Magic. The Knicks will look to get that half game back when they face the struggling Magic on Wednesday.

The eighth-seeded Milwaukee Bucks made a small move with their victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. The Bucks are now just two games behind the Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics, and 2½ behind the Atlanta Hawks. Milwaukee and Atlanta will square off on Wednesday.

Here are the East standings:

Eastern Standings

Miami Heat 66 52-14 .788
Indiana Pacers 68 42-26 .618
New York Knicks 65 39-26 .600
Brooklyn Nets 67 39-28 .582
Atlanta Hawks 67 37-30 .552
Chicago Bulls 66 36-30 .545
Boston Celtics 66 36-30 .545
Milwaukee Bucks 66 34-32 .515
Philadelphia 76ers 66 26-40 .394
Toronto Raptors 67 26-41 .388
Washington Wizards 66 23-43 .348
Detroit Pistons 69 23-46 .333
Cleveland Cavaliers 67 22-45 .328
Orlando Magic 68 18-50 .265
Charlotte Bobcats 67 15-52 .224

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