NBA Roundup: Tonight's The Night

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Notes on Tuesday's games in the National Basketball Association ...

Watch As We Write 'Warriors' And 'Playoffs' In The Same Headline! In their most inspiring grab for glory since, well, this, the Warriors are just one win away from an NBA playoff berth. We understand your confusion; the Warriors are never in contention for the playoffs in April, at least since 1995 (top Billboard single: Gangsta's Paradise, Coolio). In its final home game of the regular season, Golden State beat Dallas 111-82, to maintain a one-game lead over the Clippers for the eighth and final playoff berth in the West, with one game to play. The Warriors play tonight in Portland, while the Clippers, who hold the tiebreaker with Golden State, will be at home against New Orleans. The Clippers beat Phoenix 103-99 Tuesday. Of course, Dallas kept Dirk Nowitzki, Josh Howard, Jerry Stackhouse and Erick Dampier out of the meaningless game against the Warriors, while the Suns played their starters against the Clippers. For whatever that's worth. Anyway, big drama tonight, as two perpetually downtrodden organizations vie for a little well-earned respect. If you've got the widescreen, we'll bring the hot wings!


Jay-Z And The No. 2 Seed. Larry Hughes scored 22 points and LeBron James had 18 points to lead Cleveland to a 98-92 win over Philadelphia 76ers. The Cavaliers can claim the No. 2 seed in the East tonight if they beat Milwaukee and New Jersey beats Chicago (also tonight). Will Nets part-owner Jay-Z give a more stirring pre-game speech than his pal LeBron tonight? We'll see.

Slokar, Of The Hill People. Sure it was a meaningless game, but without it we never would have been treated to the offensive stylings of Raptors rookie Uros Slokar. Although Toronto lost to Detroit 100-84, Slokar scored 18 points in 30 minutes. He came into the game with 20 career points in 19 games. The Pistons are the Eastern Conference's top seed and the Raptors will be No. 3.


Sorcery! The Magic beat the Wizards 95-89 Tuesday night, Orlando having a chance to take the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference with a victory over Miami, combined with a Washington loss to Indiana, tonight. Hedo Turkoglu scored 26 points to lead the Magic. Washington has lost eight of nine and could finish anywhere from sixth to eighth in the East.