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NBA

How Friday's NBA results impact the playoff picture in the Eastern and Western Conference

The NBA restart continued at the Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida with another full day of action.

As we inch closer to the postseason, the playoff picture is beginning to take shape and every game on the schedule has an impact on the standings.

Here's how Thursday's results impacted the playoff picture.

STANDINGS

Houston Rockets 113, Los Angeles Lakers 97

BOX SCORE

With LeBron James (groin) sitting and Anthony Davis playing under 30 minutes, Houston took full advantage.

The Rockets, who were without Russell Westbrook, were led by James Harden's 39 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds. Ben McLemore added 20 points and Jeff Green added 15 points off the bench.

3-point shooting was the biggest difference here, as Houston shot 21-for-57 (36.8%) from deep while Los Angeles shot an abysmal 2-for-19 (10.5%).

In 29 minutes of action, Kyle Kuzma led the Lakers with 21 points and Anthony Davis finished with a 17-point, 12-rebound double-double. Dwight Howard finished with eight points and a game-high 15 rebounds off the bench.

What it means: Houston leaps back to fourth in the West standings, trailing third-place Denver by 1.5 games. The Rockets have two days off before they're back in action.

The Lakers have lost three of five during the NBA restart but have clinched the West's No. 1 seed. LA's main priority is its health and getting rhythm as it prepares for the playoffs.

Portland Trail Blazers 125, Denver Nuggets 115

BOX SCORE

It was an all-around shooting clinic put on by the Portland Trail Blazers.

Damian Lillard tied a career-high by sinking 11 triples while Gary Trent Jr. knocked down an additional seven as Portland set a new franchise record with 23 3-pointers in the game. Lillard finished the game with 45 points and 12 assists while Trent scored 27 in the game.

MORE: Lillard's career night leads Blazers to crucial win

The Nuggets, who were without Will Barton, Gary Harris and Jamal Murray, were led by 27 points from rookie Michael Porter Jr. while Nikola Jokic dished out a game-high 13 assists in just over 23 minutes of action.

Despite being down key players, Denver hung in there with Portland, keeping things close down the stretch, it just ultimately wasn't enough.

What it means: Here comes the Trail Blazers!

Portland is now just a half-game behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the West's eighth seed. If the Blazers were to finish in eighth, they would have the upper hand in a potential play-in, as they would need to win just one game to make the playoffs.

The Nuggets remain in the West's third seed but now trail the LA Clippers by 1.5 games in the standings and lead the Utah Jazz by 1.5 games.

LA Clippers 126, Dallas Mavericks 111

BOX SCORE

Things were all tied at 101 but the Clippers closed the game with a 25-10 run to end the game.

Kawhi Leonard led the way with 29 points (on 10-for-23 shooting), Paul George added 24 (on 10-for-21 shooting) and Ivica Zubaz cashed in a perfect night from the field, scoring 21 points (on 10-for-10 shooting) and grabbed 15 rebounds as the Clippers pulled away from the Mavericks late.

It was a solid shooting night for the Clippers, who shot 54.3% from the field and 45.2% from deep.

The Mavericks were led by 30 points from Kristaps Porzingis and 29 points from Luka Doncic, who also knocked down six triples in the game.

Ultimately, it wasn't enough for Dallas, as it didn't have enough to get the win over LA.

What it means: The Clippers get some temporary breathing room over the Nuggets, who they are ahead of in the standings. The two teams meet next week.

The Mavericks appear to be locked in as the seventh seed regardless of the result in their final four seeding games.

Milwaukee Bucks 130, Miami Heat 116

BOX SCORE

The Bucks trailed by as many as 23 points in this one but it didn't matter.

With 4:36 remaining in the game, things were all tied up at 111. Milwaukee then proceeded to score 19 unanswered points over the next four minutes to build a 19-point lead with under a minute to play.

This was the exclamation point in a second half in which the Bucks outscored the Heat 74-43 to earn a 14-point win.

The All-Star duo of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton scored 33 points apiece on a combined 22-for-31 (70.9%) shooting to pace Milwaukee's offence with Brook Lopez (17) and Pat Connaughton (11) as the only other Bucks to finish in double figures.

Down Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic, the Heat had an impressive showing before ultimately running out of steam. Duncan Robinson led the way with 21 points while Tyler Herro added 20 points off the bench.

What it means: For the second consecutive season, the Bucks have clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference, building a five-game lead over the Raptors with four games remaining.

The Heat were unable to build a bigger cushion over the Pacers, who lost earlier. Miami holds a one-game lead over Indiana in the standings with two meetings slated for next week.

Phoenix Suns 114, Indiana Pacers 99

BOX SCORE

Say what you want about the Suns, but they clearly belong at the NBA restart.

Monty Williams' squad is now out to a perfect 4-0 start in Orlando and has moved up in the standings with this win.

It was a balanced effort from the Suns, who were led by a 23-point, 10-rebound double-double from former No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton. Devin Booker added 20 points of his own while five other players finished in double figures.

MORE: Booker says 'Kobe's with me every day' after win over Pacers

Phoenix made it a point to make things difficult for T.J. Warren, who, after a hot start in Orlando had a rough showing with 16 points on 7-for-20 shooting from the field. Malcolm Brogdon led the way for the Pacers with 25 points, six assists and six boards.

Indiana is still in a good spot as this is its first loss at the NBA restart.

What it means: Phoenix has now jumped two places in the standings, moving ahead of both New Orleans and Sacramento with this win.

The Suns are two games out of eighth and one game behind the Trail Blazers, who are in action later in the day. Safe to say, they'll have an eye on that one.

The Pacers fall 1.5 behind the Heat, who they play twice next week. Indiana maintains a half-game lead over Philadelphia and also owns the tiebreaker there.

Sacramento Kings 140, New Orleans Pelicans 125

BOX SCORE

A huge win for the Kings. A huge loss for the Pelicans.

Sacramento set the tone by opening with a 49-point first quarter - the most points that New Orleans has ever given up in a quarter in franchise history. The Kings never really looked back from there.

Bogdan Bogdanovic led the way with a career-high 35 points (on 13-for-20 shooting) and De'Aaron Fox added 30 points and 10 assists while shooting 12-for-21 from the field. It was an all-around offensive clinic by the Kings, who also scored 40 points in the third quarter.

The Pelicans were led by 24 points apiece from the duo of Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. Sacramento's offensive showing was made possible by a poor defensive showing from New Orleans.

Per ESPN's Andrew Lopez , the Pelicans became the first team since 2008 to score 125 points, shoot over 57% and lose by 15 or more.

What it means: After identical 1-3 starts in Orlando, both Sacramento and New Orleans are down, but not out.

The Kings jump the Pelicans in the standings by virtue of a tiebreaker, with both teams 1.5 games back of the Trail Blazers for the ninth seed and an opportunity to play in for the West's final playoff spot.

With Memphis starting the restart 0-4, we could see a play-in situation that doesn't feature the Grizzlies at all.

Current Standings

Standings through Aug. 7
EAST WEST
Team W L GB Team W L GB
1 x - Milwaukee Bucks 55 14 - 1 x - Los Angeles Lakers 51 17 -
2 x - Toronto Raptors 49 18 5 2 x - LA Clippers 46 22 5
3 x - Boston Celtics 45 23 9.5 3 x - Denver Nuggets 45 24 6.5
4 x - Miami Heat 43 26 12 4 x - Houston Rockets 43 25 8
5 x - Indiana Pacers 42 27 13 5 x - Utah Jazz 43 25 8
6 x - Philadelphia 76ers 41 27 13.5 6 x - Oklahoma City Thunder 42 25 8.5
7 Brooklyn Nets 32 36 22.5 7 x - Dallas Mavericks 41 30 11.5
8 Orlando Magic 32 37 23 8 Memphis Grizzlies 32 37 19.5
9 Washington Wizards 24 44 30.5 9 Portland Trail Blazers 32 38 20
10 Phoenix Suns 30 38 21.5
11 San Antonio Spurs 29 38 21.5
12 Sacramento Kings 29 39 22
13 New Orleans Pelicans 29 39 22

x - Clinched Playoffs Berth

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