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OKC Thunder Tops West in Cinderella Finish; Phoenix Stuns Minnesota, Gains 6th Seed

By Teodoro Medina Reynoso
Mon, 15 Apr 2024

The Oklahoma City Thunder routed the visiting Dallas Mavericks, 135-87 and completed a Cinderella finish by topping the Western Conference at the close of the 2023-24 NBA regular season.

It was the best ever finish by the Thunder which ended at 10th last season and was relegated to the play in with a record of 40-42. They defeated then #9 NOP Pelicans to advance to the game for #8 against Minnesota but were beaten and eliminated.

The Denver Nuggets defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 126-111 to tie the Thunder's record of 57-25 but had to content with second as the Thunder beat them in their season series.

Meanwhile, the Minnesota Timberwolves were beaten by the visiting Phoenix Suns 125-106 to drop to third at 56-26. It was a sad loss for Minnesota which welcomed back Karl Anthony Towns from his long recuperation from injury. The win on the other hand propelled Phoenix to the 6th place and automatic seeding in the playoffs.

Phoenix was also helped by the visiting Los Angeles Lakers beating the erstwhile 6th placer New Orleans Pelicans, 124-106 with Lebron James and Anthony Davis posting huge numbers.

Having won two of three games against the Pelicans this season, the Suns own the season tiebreaker and would move ahead of New Orleans if the teams finish with identical records which they did at 49-33.

Minnesota as third seed and #6 Phoenix will therefore meet in the first round of the best of seven playoffs with the Timberwolves enjoying the home advantage.

LA Clippers (#4) meet the Mavericks (#5) in their own best of seven series with the Clippers having the home court advantage.

OKC as top seed and #2 Denver will have to wait for the results of the play-in which will determine the #8 and #7 who will be their respective playoff opponents.

All best of seven playoffs will be on 2-2-1-1-1 format.

The LA Lakers play the Pelicans in sudden death for #7 seeding while the Golden State Warriors battle Sacramento in another sudden death for the right to meet the loser between the Lakers and Pelicans in a win or go home game for the eight and final seed.

The author Teodoro Medina Reynoso is a veteran boxing radio talk show host living in the Philippines. He can be reached at and by phone 09215309477.

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Teodoro Medina Reynoso.

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