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Thunder playoff standings: Oklahoma City hurts Suns, Pelicans remain apace

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The Thunder got the win they needed to hold onto 8th seed in the West.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma City Thunder looked like they were on their way to another dispiriting road loss, trailing the Suns by 20 early in the game. However, OKC's defense finally woke up and we were shown a little mental fortitude, and the Thunder went from 20 points down to a double digit win. The win strengthens the Thunder's playoff position with only 7 games remaining in the season, and OKC's magic number is now 7.

The Suns loss likely puts them out of contention, as they now trail 9th place New Orleans by 1.5 games. The Pelicans did their job on the night, winning big against Minnesota, and remain 2.5 games behind OKC. The Mavericks, who remain 3 games up on the Thunder, surprisingly lost to the Pacers. While Dallas' lead will be tough to overcome with so little time left, Wednesday night's game could still be pivotal for both teams.

Elsewhere in the West, the Rockets have now surpassed the Grizzlies for the #2 seed, while the Spurs have solidified their hold on the 6th. If Memphis continues to struggle, they could potentially slide all the way down to the 5th or 6th seed, while the Spurs could rocket their way up to #3.

The Thunder face a critical stretch of their season over the next week, as they face four playoff teams in a row - Mavericks, Grizzlies, Rockets, and Spurs.

Standings and stats vis NBA.com/stats