Tonight’s game in Portland will determine whether the Thunder avoids the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference. Win tonight and Oklahoma City is assured of finishing no worse than the No. 7 seed. Lose tonight at the Rose Garden and odds are extremely high the Thunder will finish as the No. 8 seed.
If the playoffs started today, the Thunder would be the No. 8 seed. But if OKC defeats Portland, the Thunder will win the tiebreaker, assured of being seeded higher than the Trail Blazers. If the Thunder loses tonight the only way they avoid the No. 8 seed is if San Antonio were to lose its final two games against Minnesota and Dallas. Oklahoma City has clinched a playoff spot. But because of Sunday’s loss OKC can finish no higher than the No. 6 seed. If the Thunder reduces one team’s magic number to zero they’re assured of earning the No. 7 seed. Reduce two teams to zero and they’ll be the No. 6 seed. →3 Portland →3 San Antonio