Oklahoma City Thunder Close To Clinching Spot In 2015 NBA Playoffs

Oklahoma City Thunder playoff tickets could go on sale soon. On Sunday (March 29), Oklahoma City took a big step toward clinching a spot in the 2015 NBA Playoffs. Playing on the road against a very tough Phoenix Suns team, the Thunder found a way to rally in the second half and put the game in the win column. It wasn’t easy, but the team did a great job of holding off the New Orleans Pelicans in the Western Conference standings for another day.

Russell Westbrook put together another impressive game for Oklahoma City as he scored 33 points, grabbed nine rebounds, and dished out seven assists on the night. He was one of six Thunder players to score in double-figures, but Westbrook was certainly the catalyst that got the team rolling after trailing at halftime. It’s performances like this one that have continued chatter around the league of his MVP candidacy.

In the updated NBA standings, Oklahoma City has a 42-32 record and is now three wins ahead of the 39-34 New Orleans Pelicans. The teams are currently battling for the eighth seed in the Western Conference Playoffs and had drawn even closer in the standings over the past week. By beating the Suns on Sunday, the Oklahoma City Thunder knocked them back to 38-36 and further away from overtaking the Pelicans.

There are less than three weeks remaining until the 2015 NBA Playoffs begin on April 18, and things are far from settled in the Western Conference. As previously reported on the Inquisitr, Oklahoma City has lost Kevin Durant for the season with a foot injury. The situation has put added pressure on Russell Westbrook to perform, but he has stepped up in a big way since the All-Star break. So far, he has had more games with triple-doubles than games without one since he won the All-Star Game MVP.

Moving forward, it’s not going to get any easier for the Oklahoma City Thunder to clinch that spot in the 2015 NBA Playoffs. The team has eight games left in the regular season and five of them come against teams that are going to make the postseason in the Western Conference. That includes games against the Dallas Mavericks (April 1), the Memphis Grizzlies (April 3), and the Houston Rockets (April 5) over the next week.

An important aspect of the final standings in the West is that the team cannot finish tied with the New Orleans Pelicans. They have lost three of the four games in the match-up this season, and as a result, don’t hold the tie-breaker in that equation. A small piece of good news, though, is that the final game of the season for the Oklahoma City Thunder comes against the 16-57 Minnesota Timberwolves on April 15.

[Image Source: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images]