Suns can clinch top-2 seed with Clippers loss; odds are against them
A loss by the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday will clinch the Phoenix Suns the Pacific Division and a top-2 seed in the Western Conference standings.
However, odds suggest the current No. 2 seed Suns will still have a chance to drop to No. 3 after the Clippers play the Houston Rockets on Friday night.
The Clippers are 10.5-point favorites to win in Houston, according to the majority of betting services.
Houston has the NBA’s worst record (16-54) and is currently on a seven-game skid. Going further back, the Rockets have lost 12 of their last 13 games.
Los Angeles, meanwhile, has won four of its last five games.
At 47-23, the Clippers enter Friday two full games behind the 49-21 Suns.
Phoenix beat the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday and sits a game behind the Western Conference-leading Utah Jazz with a back-to-back against the San Antonio Spurs left this weekend.
Elsewhere in the NBA, there remain few certainties beyond which teams have clinched playoff berths.
No team in the top-6 of either conference has locked in its playoff seed, and only two teams out of eight total play-in squads are set in the seeding: the Eastern Conference’s No. 7 Boston Celtics and the Western Conference’s No. 10 San Antonio Spurs.