NBA playoff picture after Tuesday: Warriors win, own West

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Every night between now and the end of the 2018-19 NBA regular season, we will take an updated look at the NBA Playoff picture — what the standings look like, the potential matchups, who clinched, who moved up and down, all to set the stage for the NBA’s second season.

TUESDAY’S SCORES
Thunder 119, Lakers 103
Spurs 117, Hawks 111
Rockets 130, Kings 105
Warriors 116, Nuggets 102

• With this win, the Warriors move two full games ahead of the Nuggets for the No. 1 seed in the West, plus Golden State also has the tiebreaker so really they are three games up with five to play. The Warriors all but guaranteed they will be the top seed in the West.

Russell Westbrook had 20 points, 20 rebounds, and 21 assists — making him the only person besides Wilt Chamberlain to have a 20+ triple-double — but he wasn’t efficient, shooting 8-of-23 to get there. Still, he pushed the Thunder to a win they needed to stay tied with San Antonio for the race to be the seven seed (and avoid the Warriors in the first round).

EASTERN CONFERENCE


X – Clinched Playoff Spot, Y – Clinched Division, Z – Clinched Conference

Tuesday’s playoff movers and clinchers:

• No Eastern Conference playoff teams were in action Tuesday.

WESTERN CONFERENCE


X – Clinched Playoff Spot, Y – Clinched Division, Z – Clinched Conference

Monday’s playoff movers and clinchers

• Golden State essentially secured the No. 1 seed in the West with this win, they have a two-game lead over Denver with five to play, plus the Warriors now own the tiebreaker. DeMarcus Cousins played his best game as a Warrior, with 28 points and 12 rebounds.

• With its win, Houston moves into the three seed by half a game (Portland was idle) and within 1.5 games of Denver for the No. 2 seed (and home court in the second round).

• San Antonio and Oklahoma City both won, they remain tied for the 7/8 seed in the West. Whoever finishes 8th gets the Warriors in the first round.

IF THE PLAYOFFS STARTED TODAY:
Miami at Milwaukee
Brooklyn at Toronto
Detroit at Philadelphia
Indiana at Boston

Oklahoma City at Golden State
San Antonio at Denver
L.A. Clippers at Houston
Utah at Portland

WEDNESDAY’S BIGGEST GAMES:

• Indiana at Detroit (7 pm ET). Two teams fighting for playoff seeding and needing wins go head-to-head in this East showdown.

• Toronto at Brooklyn (7:30 pm ET). The Raptors are basically locked into the two seed, which might mean more “load management” time for their stars. The Nets, like the Pistons above, are in a fight to make sure they stay in the playoffs and Brooklyn needs the win.

• Boston at Miami (7:30 pm ET, NBA TV). The Celtics are tied with Indiana for the 4/5 in the East and they are battling for home court. The Heat are the current eight seed in the East and need wins just to stay in the dance. This should be a hard-fought game.

• San Antonio at Denver (9 PM ET). This is a potential first-round playoff matchup, and the Spurs want the win and for this matchup to avoid the Warriors in the first round. Both teams are on a back-to-back.

• Houston at Los Angeles Clippers 10:30 PM ET, NBA TV). Another potential first-round playoff matchup, plus James Harden would love to add to his MVP resume with big numbers against another playoff team.