The first full day of action at the restart of the 2019-20 NBA season did not disappoint.
With a six-game slate, 12 teams, in various positions in the standings, took the floor with hopes to move up or strengthen their hold on their respective playoff spot.
In the East, the Orlando Magic look poised for another seventh-place finish after earning a big win over the Brooklyn Nets. In the West, a fully healthy Portland Trail Blazers squad reduced their deficit to the eighth seed with a huge overtime win against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Find out more on how it all played out below…
San Antonio Spurs 129, Sacramento Kings 120
The Spurs earned a huge win over the Kings as they jumped up to 10th in the West standings. DeMar DeRozan led the way with 27 points while Derrick White scored a career-high 26 points and drew five (!) charges to help keep San Antonio's playoff hopes alive.
As it stands, the Spurs trail the Grizzlies by three games for the eighth seed and are a half-game back of the Trail Blazers for ninth and a potential play-in situation. Fittingly, San Antonio is back in action when it takes on Memphis, yet another opportunity to make this race more interesting.
This loss was equally as bad for the Kings, who fall down to 12th in the West, trailing the eighth-seeded Grizzlies by 3.5 games and trailing the ninth-place Trail Blazers by one full game. Sacramento is down, but not out, as it faces New Orleans twice during the restart and has plenty of time to move back up.
Portland Trail Blazers 140, Memphis Grizzlies 135 (OT)
In perhaps the biggest game of the day, the Trail Blazers flexed their muscles, using their veteran savvy to outlast the young Grizzlies in overtime led by a combined 62 points from CJ McCollum (33 points) and Damian Lillard (29 points).
It's a huge win for the Blazers, who gain a game on the Grizzlies in the standings and create distance from the other teams in play for the West's final playoff spot. Portland can either firm its grasp on the No. 9 seed to force a play-in or make a play for the No. 8 seed as it trails Memphis by 2.5 games in the standings.
The Blazers also tie the season series with the Grizzlies 1-1, meaning a secondary tiebreaker could come into play, although Portland has played in one more game.
Despite the loss, Memphis is still in the driver's seat and controls its own destiny in the playoff race. The Grizzlies face the Spurs and Pelicans next, meaning they have an opportunity to create more space from the other teams in contention for eighth.
In order to get back on track, the young team must have a short memory.
Phoenix Suns 125, Washington Wizards 112
The Suns give themselves the best possible shot to make a play for the West's final playoff spot by winning out. They got off to a good start Friday, taking care of business against the Wizards behind 27 points from Devin Booker.
Phoenix will need some help as it still sits in 13th in the West.
The Wizards were in a similar predicament, meaning this loss is detrimental to their hopes of grabbing a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Washington will need to win some games and get some help in the form of losses by Brooklyn, Orlando or both.
Milwaukee Bucks 119, Boston Celtics 112
With this win, the Bucks improve their league-best record to 54-12 and now need just one more victory to seal the top spot in the Eastern Conference for a second straight season.
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Meanwhile, the Celtics fall further behind the second-seeded Toronto Raptors. They now trail the defending champions by 3.5 games while holding just a two-game lead over the fourth-seeded Miami Heat.
Orlando Magic 128, Brooklyn Nets 118
The Magic jumped the Nets in the standings with the win as they now hold a half-game lead for the East's seventh seed. It's a big win for Orlando, as it wins the season series over Brooklyn 3-0, with one last meeting on Aug. 11.
Because of a disparity in games played, the Nets will have to finish at least one half-game ahead of the Magic in the standings to earn a higher seed.
Houston Rockets 153, Dallas Mavericks 149 [OT]
This comeback victory helped the Rockets jump the Oklahoma City Thunder for the fifth seed in the Western Conference. Given how close all those teams are in the middle of the West's playoff standings, it's highly unlikely that any team holds on to any of the spots for too long.
On the other hand, the Mavericks fall another game behind that 3-6 pack in the West. Still plenty of seeding games to go but they could find themselves locked into the seventh seed heading into the playoffs.
|1||x - Milwaukee Bucks||54||12||-||1||x - Los Angeles Lakers||50||14||-|
|2||x - Toronto Raptors||46||18||7||2||x - LA Clippers||44||21||6.5|
|3||x - Boston Celtics||43||22||10.5||3||x - Denver Nuggets||43||22||7.5|
|4||x - Miami Heat||41||24||12.5||4||x - Utah Jazz||42||23||8.5|
|5||x - Indiana Pacers||39||26||14.5||5||x - Houston Rockets||41||24||9.5|
|6||x - Philadelphia 76ers||39||26||14.5||6||x - Oklahoma City Thunder||40||24||10|
|7||Orlando Magic||31||35||23||7||Dallas Mavericks||40||28||12|
|8||Brooklyn Nets||30||35||23.5||8||Memphis Grizzlies||32||34||19|
|9||Washington Wizards||24||41||29.5||9||Portland Trail Blazers||30||37||21.5|
|10||San Antonio Spurs||28||36||22|
|11||New Orleans Pelicans||28||37||22.5|
x - Clinched Playoffs Berth
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