Standings shake-ups in hoops and hockey
NBA: Suns coach Alvin Gentry says his team is on "life support" after losing eight of 11, falling four and a half games back of the eighth-place Grizzlies in the West. The Suns try to keep their playoff hopes alive with a win tonight against the Thunder at 10 p.m. on NBA League Pass. Kevin Durant and Co. head into tonight's contest on a four-game win streak, their sights set on a second straight 50-win season.
The Knicks know how the slumping Suns feel -- they've won just two of their last 11 contests. At 7 p.m. on ESPN, they'll face a Nets team that likely will be without Deron Williams for an eighth straight game. He's recovering from a wrist injury. ... The Rockets are just two games back of the eighth and final playoff spot in the West, they'll try to stay in the race with a win over the Sixers tonight. Philly has won six of the teams' last seven meetings; they'll try to make it seven of eight.
NHL: With just five games to play, the Flames are on the outside looking in on the playoff race. They share the ninth spot in the West with the Stars, just three points behind the eighth-place Blackhawks and four back of tonight's opponent, the Ducks. In a packed conference, neither team can afford to give up two tonight, so this one should be a knock-down, drag-out fight. Catch it on TSN at 9:30 p.m.
The Hurricanes are three points back of the eighth spot in the East, hoping to get a little closer with a win tonight over the Canadiens. Montreal has had the 'Canes' number this year, outscoring them 14-7 and winning all three games. ... The team just ahead of Carolina, the eighth-place Sabres, can earn a huge two points tonight with a win over the seventh-place Rangers. New York looks tough to beat right now, though, having gone 8-1-1 in its last 10 contests.