At the start of the NBA season no one thought the Oklahoma City Thunder would be ahead of the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference standings this deep into the schedule. A lot of folks thought the Thunder might not be ahead of ANY team in the West much less the one some were picking to win the conference.
But here we are approaching the middle of March and the Thunder, after a thrilling come-from-behind win over the Celtics in Boston, are in fifth place and lead the Rockets by a half game. They're a game-and-a-half behind the the Utah Jazz for fourth place and the Jazz will visit Chesapeake Energy Arena on Wednesday night.
Once again, in what has become a magical season, Chris Paul has turned back the clock and is playing at an elite level. He scored 28 points last night and Dennis Schroder, the leading candidate for Sixth Man of the Year, added 27. The Thunder had to play without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander who missed the game because of a bruised hip.
With the win in bean town OKC swept all three games in an Eastern Conference road swing. Now the team's attention shifts to what will be a huge game against Utah on Wednesday night. The Jazz host Toronto tonight, a loss against the Raptors would close the gap over the Thunder to just one game so fourth place in the standings could very well be on the line come Wednesday.