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Thunder playoff standings watch: huge win over Atlanta, Pelicans loss, gives OKC 2 game lead

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The Thunder's huge win over the Hawks could have massive ripple effects. Where do things stand today?

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma City Thunder responded to the potentially devastating news that Kevin Durant may not return this season by rallying against the East-leading Hawks and earning a huge win. OKC was once again propelled by fusion reactor Russell Westbrook, who recorded his 9th triple-double of the season, and a surprising performance by Dion Waiters, who was finishing at the rim better than he has all season. Most importantly, the team refused to fold as the Hawks offense carved them up through 3 quarters, and even without Durant, Serge Ibaka, and Enes Kanter, the Thunder offense put 123 points on the board against a very good Hawks defense.

Around the league, the league, the Pelicans had to go against the best team in the NBA and do it without Anthony Davis, and the result is what you would expect. The loss puts the Pelicans 2 games behind the Thunder, making the Thunder win over the Hawks even more meaningful.

The Dallas Mavericks fell to the Memphis Grizzlies, and while catching them still may be too much to ask of the short-handed Thunder at this point, they are still only 4 losses back, and they still have one more game to play. It is a worthy pursuit.  Meanwhile, the Spurs and Clippers both won, so they remain 5 games up on the Thunder with only 13 games left to play in OKC's schedule.

NBA stats and standings via NBA.com/stats