PHOENIX SUNS

Suns can clinch top-2 seed with Clippers loss; odds are against them

May 14, 2021, 9:48 AM

Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) dribbles past Charlotte Hornets forward P.J. Washing...

Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) dribbles past Charlotte Hornets forward P.J. Washington (25) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, May 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)

(AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)

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.

Phoenix Suns

Nikola Jokic named as a finalist for 2023-24 NBA MVP....

Associated Press

Nikola Jokic, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Luka Doncic finalists for NBA MVP

Denver's Nikola Jokic, Dallas' Luka Doncic and OKC's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander named finalists for 2023-24 NBA MVP.

10 minutes ago

James Harden lead Clippers to win over Luka Doncic and Mavericks in playoff opener....

Associated Press

James Harden leads Clippers to a win over Luka Doncic and Mavericks in playoff opener

James Harden scored 28 points and Ivica Zubac had a double-double and Clippers defeat the Mavericks 109-97 to win their playoff series opener.

2 hours ago

Nikola Jokic leads Denver Nuggets past LeBron James and Lakers 114-103 in playoff opener....

Associated Press

Nikola Jokic leads Denver Nuggets past Lakers 114-103 in playoff opener

Nikola Jokic had 32 points as he leads the Denver Nuggets past the Los Angeles Lakers 114-103 in their Western Conference playoff opener.

23 hours ago

Timberwolves handily defeat Suns 120-95 in game 1 of the first round of the 2024 NBA Playoffs....

Kellan Olson

Suns walloped by haymaker 1st punch from Timberwolves in Game 1

The Phoenix Suns tried to fight through a hardened style of play from the Minnesota Timberwolves but got smacked in the face.

1 day ago

Devin Booker drives against Karl-Anthony Towns...

Dan Bickley

Suns’ psychological edge vanished with Game 1 Timberwolves win

The Suns lost more than a basketball game on Saturday. They lost their edge and their psychological advantage.

1 day ago

Anthony Edwards talks to the Suns in a Game 1 win by the T-Wolves...

Kevin Zimmerman

Anthony Edwards walks walk, then talks in T-Wolves’ Game 1 win over Suns

Anthony Edwards exploded for 18 third-quarter points as the Minnesota Timberwolves took Game 1 against Kevin Durant and the Phoenix Suns.

1 day ago

Suns can clinch top-2 seed with Clippers loss; odds are against them