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Saturday, April 14, 2012
Wild West: Mavs take control of No. 6 seed

By Jeff Caplan

We take a look at the games that impact the West playoff picture each morning for the rest of the regular season.

Mavs' spot in the standings: The No. 6 seed is the Mavs' for the taking. Both Houston and Denver lost Friday night to fall 1 1/2 games back of Dallas in the standings. Plus, the Mavs hold the tiebreaker over both clubs with six games to play.

FRIDAY'S GAMES
Mavs 97, Blazers 94: Dallas led by 20 points late in the third quarter, but eight turnovers in the fourth quarter energized Portland and produced a massive run that only its own late turnovers sabotaged from being a one-possession game in the final minutes.

Lakers 103, Nuggets 97: L.A. picks up another impressive win as Kobe Bryant missed his fourth consecutive game with a shin injury and Andrew Bynum went for 30 points and eight rebounds.

Suns 112, Rockets 105: Another big road win for Steve Nash and company while the Rockets lose their second in a row at home and, along with Denver, are dangerously close to being passed by the Suns.

Hornets 96, Jazz 85: Horrible road loss for the 10th-place Jazz, whose playoff hopes are now on life support with a must-have game at Memphis tonight.

Thunder 115, Kings 89: Easy home win as the Thunder look to hold off the Spurs for the No. 1 seed.

TODAY’S GAMES
Warriors at Clippers
Thunder at Timberwolves
Jazz at Grizzlies
Suns at Spurs

If the playoffs started today: Mavs vs. Lakers