NBA schedule 2014: Grizzlies, Blazers headline Sunday's slate of games

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Memphis and Portland battle for playoff position out West and the Knicks look to make up ground for eighth place in the East.

Our main course today is a game with major playoff implications as the Grizzlies travel to Portland. Also, the Knicks travel to Golden State for the night cap as they try to position themselves for a late playoff run.

Here's what you need to watch:

Main Course

Memphis Grizzlies vs Portland Trail Blazers

NBA TV; 9 p.m. ET

The Grizzlies are clinging to the last playoff spot in the Western Conference, but a loss tonight puts them behind the ninth-place Mavericks. Memphis let its last game against the Warriors slip away, so the Grizzlies need to gain some footing in Portland. If they fall to the Blazers, the Grizzlies will be on the outside of the playoffs looking in with less than three weeks remaining in the regular season.

The Blazers, on the other hand, have earned some breathing room in the Western Conference. They are currently in fifth place with a comfortable three-game lead over the Grizzlies and have won both games since LaMarcus Aldridge's return. Portland might not be the superpower that it looked like a few months ago when it owned the best record in the league, but getting healthy will go a long way come playoff time.

Appetizer

Indiana Pacers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

League Pass; 3 p.m.

This game doesn't hold as many playoff implications as the other two, but there are some things to keep an eye on here. Somehow, the Cavaliers are just three games back of the Hawks for eight place in the Eastern Conference. There's a very outside chance that Cleveland makes the postseason, but Atlanta has lost six straight games and the Knicks, just 1.5 games up on the Cavaliers, are notorious for self-implosion.

Dessert

New York Knicks vs. Golden State Warriors

League Pass; 9 p.m.

Speaking of the Knicks, they are out in Oakland to take on the Warriors. The Hawks, as previously mentioned, are doing everything they can to ensure New York a playoff spot, but the Knicks have failed to take advantage. They've lost three of four, their worst defeat (127-96) coming against the misfit Lakers. They won't get any help against the Warriors, who are in the middle of their own playoff skirmish. Golden State is just two games ahead of the eighth place Grizzlies and are jockeying for position in the Western Conference.

Other games

Utah Jazz vs. Oklahoma City Thunder -- League Pass; 3 p.m ET

Toronto Raptors vs. Orlando Magic -- League Pass; 6 p.m

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Brooklyn Nets -- League Pass; 6 p.m.

Chicago Bulls vs. Boston Celtics -- League Pass; 7 p.m.

Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Lakers -- League Pass; 9:30 p.m.

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