Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 12/23/14
Light at the End of the Tunnel The 2014 NBA playoffs are right around the corner, and the Portland Trail Blazers have locked up a first-round matchup with the Houston Rockets. Following a week that saw Portland go 3-0, the team from the Pacific Northwest has just one game to go. The recent win over the Golden State Warriors was arguably the most important victory of the year, but coming up next is a contest with the Los Angeles Clippers — a contest that could decide whether the Blazers or Rockets have home-court advantage. Mo Williams is ready for the playoffs! (Photo: Bruce Ely/The Oregonian) Portland hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2011, making its return that much sweeter. There will be plenty of highlights between the Blazers and Rockets in Round 1, but until the playoffs arrive, we’ll take a look back at the week that was in Week 24. April 9 vs. Sacramento The Sacramento Kings may be one of the worst teams in the Western Conference, but they still know how to put up a fight. That was the case Wednesday night, as Portland barely squeaked out a 100-99 win. As always, DeMarcus Cousins had a monster game. He recorded 30 points and 12 rebounds in 37 minutes, while Portland found a nice balance between LaMarcus Aldridge, Damian Lillard and Wesley Matthews. Dorell Wright, however, was the hero when the clock struck zero, as his three-pointer with 7.9 second to go proved to be the deciding factor when it was all said and done. April 11 @ Utah If the Kings are one of the worst teams out West, the Utah Jazz are without a doubt the worst. The Blazers entered this game knowing they were the favorites, and for the most part they played like it. Wesley Matthews led the game in scoring, LaMarcus Aldridge led the way in rebounds and Nicolas Batum had the most assists behind point guard Trey Burke. The Blazers got a 111-99 win with a 35-point fourth quarter, and more importantly, they got momentum heading into their showdown with the Golden State Warriors. April 13 vs. Golden State During Week 23, I predicted that the Trail Blazers would lose this game and finish the regular season in sixth place. As it turns out, Portland proved me wrong taking down the Warriors and earning the fifth seed; or fourth if the Rockets lose out and the Blazers win out. The Blazers won 119-117 Sunday night, but now it’s time to look forward. Portland plays the Los Angeles Clippers Wednesday night, and if it wins and the Rockets lose out, the team earns home-court advantage in the first round of the 2014 postseason. CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE BLAZERS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSB!

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