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NBA

What NBA games are scheduled for Saturday, April 9th?

Here we give you everything you need to know for the games on this penultimate day of the NBA regular season.

Paul Rudder
Update:
Who plays in the NBA on April 9th?
EZRA SHAWAFP

This Saturday will see four games scheduled with many teams playing in either their penultimate match of the regular or their final one, with the season coming to an end on Sunday.

NBA games for Saturday 9th March:

Indiana Pacers @ Philadelphia 76ers: 1:00 p.m.(ET)

With just two games left in their regular season, the Philadelphia 76ers will host the Pacers on Saturday night, with the hope of improving their NBA playoffs positioning. The Sixers who are 49-31 could of course have secured themselves the No.3 seed in the Eastern Conference, but a 119-114 loss at Toronto on Thursday set them back. “They made shots, and we didn’t do a really good job at contesting as we needed to,” the Sixers’ James Harden said in his post game news conference.

On the other hand we have Indiana, who at 25-55 comes into Saturday’s matchup on a season-worst eight-game losing stretch, the most recent of which came Tuesday against the said same 76ers when they fell 131-122. In that game league MVP candidate Joel Embiid posted 45 points. Former 76ers teammate and current Pacers guard TJ McConnell offered his thoughts, “He’s not bailing people out with jump shots. He’s putting his back to the basket and just absolutely punishing guys, and when they start to double-team him, he’s stepping out and making 3s, which he’s more than capable of doing. Just his progression from the first year he was able to play until now, it’s truly remarkable.” The Pacers do indeed have their work cut out for them. on the bright side McConnell is back in the line up having returned from a hand injury that has kept him out since early December.

New Orleans Pelicans @ Memphis Grizzlies 6:00 p.m.(ET)

Should the Pelicans, who will host the Warriors on Sunday, lose their last two games and the Spurs, who host the Warriors on Saturday and visit Dallas on Sunday, win their last two, their play-in game against the Spurs will be in San Antonio. “We want that game here in New Orleans,” center Willy Hernangomez said after his team defeated the Blazers at home 127-94 on Thursday. Hernangomez himself scoring 17 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. “We want the city to get crazy. We need that. It’s going to be fantastic to play at home.” Worth noting is the fact that the Pelicans have won three of their last four home games, but that one loss was unfortunately against the Spurs back on March 26. The Pelicans it should be said are sitting on a record of 36-44

Where the Grizzlies are concerned, its clear that Memphis is getting themselves right and ready for the Western Conference playoffs. With a 55-25 record the Grizzlies, who have won two of three games against the Pelicans this season, have got their hands firmly on the No. 2 seed and more importantly are hopeful that they will see Ja Morant return this saturday having missed the past nine games with a sore right knee. Indeed, Morant who’s averaging 27.6 points, has been a bright spot for the Grizzlies this season and head coach Taylor Jenkins knows it. Indicating that Morant has progressed to five-on-five work Jenkins was positive about the possibility of getting Morant back in time for their final game on Sunday when the Grizzlies host the Boston Celtics. “That’s really encouraging,” Jenkins said. “He responded well afterwards. We’re just going to continue to take it day by day and see how he responds.”

Golden State Warriors @ San Antonio Spurs 8:30 p.m.(ET)

When these two meet on Saturday night there will still be a lot on the line for both. The match-up is the first of a season-ending back-to-back for both teams and will carry a lot of weight in determining the seeds for the postseason. The Warriors are of course already in the main playoff field, while the Spurs are headed for the play-in tournament, but seeding and home advantage are up for grabs. The Warriors are currently 51-29 and will be on the road for their last two games of the season, ending in New Orleans on Sunday. On Thursday they defeated the Lakers 128-112 and most notably, Klay Thompson produced 33 points.

“I thought it was Klay’s best game,” said head coach Steve Kerr. “I know he’s scored more, but just in terms of the shot selection he just had his feet on the ground underneath him, his balance was great, his decision-making was really good. So, a lot of good things happening.” Kerr also went on to speak about the Warriors’ prospects “We’re just going into this thinking, ‘let’s build momentum.’ If we could go into next week on a winning streak, I think that would serve us really well. But whatever happens with the seeding happens, and we’ll just play whoever we will play.”

The Spurs will host Golden State having just come from a 127-121 loss at Minnesota on Thursday that brought an end to their five-game road winning streak. Though the loss would not have been cause for celebration, San Antonio who have a record of 34-46 are still in contention for the 9th seed and home advantage in the play-in tournament. The catch is that the Spurs will have to win both of their final games and have New Orleans lose both of theirs The Spurs do, however, own the tiebreaker with the Pelicans via a 3-1 edge in head-to-head play during the season.

Sacramento Kings @ Los Angeles Clippers 9:30 p.m.(ET)

When they host the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night, the Los Angeles Clippers will begin their preparations for the Western Conference play-in tournament. At 40-40 the Clippers go into their final two games with the 8th seed secured in the Western Conference. They’ll have an opportunity to secure the No. 7 seed and a first-round matchup with the Memphis Grizzlies when they visit the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday. Should LA lose that game, they would actually still have a chance at the playoffs when they would host the winner of the 9-10 play-in between the New Orleans Pelicans and San Antonio Spurs on Friday. At this point, its all in their hands.

The Clippers will also be encouraged by the return of Norman Powell after almost two months out with a fractured left foot. Powell actually played against the Suns on Wednesday in what turned out to be an impressive win over one of the most in form teams in the league this season. LA’s main man had three 3-pointers in a 24-point performance. “We can be really dangerous,” Powell said post game. “We have weapons at every position. I’m excited for what we can do in the playoffs. I definitely think teams are definitely going to have to worry about us.”

The Kings on the other hand will come into this game confident that they can put the Clippers to bed having, won four of their last five games on the road against LA. Though they have lost their last two games, rookie Davion Mitchell continues to turn heads. In their 123-109 loss to New Orleans on Tuesday Mitchell registered 15 points and an impressive 17 assists. Head coach Alvin Gentry was quick to point that out. “A month and a half ago, he was still this quiet little rookie who would not say very many words during timeouts or anything,” Gentry said. “That’s changed drastically. He feels confident. He’s not afraid to have an opinion or voice something, and I think that’s really good.”

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