portland trail blazers lillard

Playoffs now a battle for Blazers

Home game with Phoenix takes on extra meaning
Staff Report

It wasn't so long ago that the Portland Trail Blazers were playing games with the goal of seeding in the Western Conference playoff race.

But, now, with the re-emergence of the Los Angeles Clippers, the Blazers are playing for a playoff spot, having fallen into a three-way tie with Denver and the Clippers for the seventh spot in the West.

The Clippers are one of the hottest teams in the West after beating Houston Monday for its fifth-straight win, and eighth in the past 10 games. The three teams tied for seventh are just 0.5 games behind New Orleans for sixth place, effectively giving the West nine teams battling for eight playoff spots.

Last year, Portland finished in eighth place and lost to top-seeded Golden State in four games in the first round of the playoffs.

Golden State, the defending league champion with the best record in the league, is again the top seed in the West.

Portland (22-21) plays host to Phoenix (16-28) Tuesday night, having beaten the Suns twice this season.



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