Fantasy NBA Daily Notes: Why motivation matters

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The Western Conference playoff race is on fire right now, with 10 teams battling for eight playoffs spots. The eight teams that will qualify for the Eastern Conference playoffs are likely set, with a 6.5-game gap between the eighth and ninth seeds, nike authentic nfl jersey but out West all is chaos. As such, the West playoff race is driving the NBA because those teams are playing at an ultra-high level, setting the tone for how well an opponent must play to have a chance to defeat them.100

This played out on Sunday, as all four games on the schedule featured at least one team battling for the West playoffs. All told, six of the eight teams to play on Sunday are in that West playoff race, and the other two teams were the top two seeds in the East playoff race. Let's take a quick twirl around the league to see how it played out:

The Oklahoma City Thunder, one of the teams that is only three losses ahead of the 10th seed out West, went into Toronto and manhandled the by-far top seed from the Eastern Conference, 132-125. This was the highest-scoring game of the day, as the Raptors and Thunder both played at a very high level on offense, but ultimately the Thunder needed that win more and pulled it out.

The top seed in the West also played, as the Houston Rockets went to Minnesota to take on the Timberwolves. This was another offensive explosion, with the Rockets taking out the Timberwolves 129-120. This score was a bit misleading, though, as the Rockets were up 21 at the half and seemingly had the game in hand before the Timberwolves put together a late rally. The result of the high score and the rally was that both teams had at least six players score in double figures, including at least two players off the bench for each team.

The Portland Trail Blazers won their 13th straight game, the best active streak in the league, authentic nfl jerseys nike by going into Los Angeles and thumping the Clippers. This was another game where the final score was a bit closer than the game was, due to a late game comeback by the Clippers. And this was another game in which both teams scored at least 109 points.

The lowest scoring game of the day was the New Orleans Pelicans, currently the sixth seed in the West, dominating the injury-depleted Boston Celtics 108-89. While the Celtics are dealing with injuries, they are also the No. 2 seed in the East, but they just couldn't stay on the floor with a Pelicans squad that is fighting for their playoff lives out West.

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