Playoffs set in stone after NBA madness
THE Western Conference was firing on Thursday (AEST) as the Sacramento Kings threatened to shake up the playoffs with a shock upset over the Trail Blazers.
With only five minutes left in the game, Portland, who had trailed he Kings for most of the match, kicked into gear and squeezed back into the lead, quashing fears they'd be kept out of the top three heading into the pointy end of the season.
The Nuggets were also in the wars until the final minute of their game, clinching the win over a plucky Timberwolves side to finish second in the Conference.
The narrow victory ended their recent run of bad form. They had dropped their last two games in a row.
The two huge upsets meant the Rockets were pipped from their No.3 spot on the final standing. They will face the Jazz instead of the Thunder in the first round.
It means they now have a chance of squaring off against the reigning champion Golden State Warriors in the second round.
The final equation following the afternoon's madness has the first round set in stone:
(1) Golden State Warriors vs (8) Los Angeles Clippers
(2) Denver Nuggets vs (7) San Antonio Spurs
(3) Portland Trail Blazers vs (6) Oklahoma City Thunder
(4) Houston Rockets vs (5) Utah Jazz
Golden State and the Clippers will open the playoff proceedings for the Western Conference with their first game getting under way at 10am (AEST) on Sunday followed by the Nuggets and Spurs at 12.30pm.