Phoenix entered the week trailing Dallas by four games for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. This matchup begins a make-or-break stretch for Steve Nash and the Suns, who play seven of their next eight games at home.
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Lakers at Rockets | Wednesday, March 11, 8:30 p.m.
Houston's week includes games with Denver and San Antonio in addition to this visit from the Lakers, who won the two earlier meetings this season. Ron Artest, who missed the last game against the Lakers, is averaging 20.4 points on 48.8 percent shooting in 11 games since the All-Star break.
3 of 6Bill Frakes/SI, Greg Nelson/SI
Thunder at Nuggets | Wednesday, March 11, 9 p.m.
Carmelo Anthony has said he's the best small forward in the West. Kevin Durant is putting himself in that discussion with a strong second season. The two would match up here in Denver if Durant recovers in time from a sprained ankle. Durant was pointing to this game for his return.
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Lakers at Spurs | Thursday, March 12, 8 p.m. TNT
While the Lakers have all but wrapped up the top seed in the West, the Spurs still have work to do to seal the No. 2 seed (and thus avoid L.A. until a potential conference finals showdown). On Jan. 14, the Spurs edged the Lakers 112-111 at San Antonio thanks to Roger Mason's go-ahead three-point play with 10 seconds left.
5 of 6John W. McDonough/SI
Jazz at Magic | Sunday, March 15, 6 p.m. ET
Utah came into the week with an 11-game winning streak, but most of that damage was done at home. Utah, which is only 12-17 on the road, completes a five-game trip against an Orlando team that remains in the hunt for the top seed in the East.
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Knicks at Cavaliers | Sunday, March 15, 6 p.m. ET
LeBron James scored 52 points (to go with nine rebounds and 11 assists) the last time he faced the Knicks. What will he do for an encore against a defenseless Knicks team that appears to be fading from playoff contention?
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