Most Crucial Games Remaining on 2013 NBA Schedule

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Most Crucial Games Remaining on 2013 NBA Schedule
USA TODAY Sports

With just over a month remaining in the 2012-13 regular season, the playoff race is about to heat up.

Many of the higher-seeded teams appear to have playoff berths locked up, especially in the lackluster Eastern Conference. In the East, the last month will be more about jockeying for seeding than anything else.

The Western Conference playoff race, on the other hand, appears destined to come down to the final few days of the season. The Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets are fending off the Los Angeles Lakers for the final playoff spot at the moment, with the slumping Golden State Warriors hardly farther ahead.

To prepare you for the final few weeks of the NBA season, I combed through each team's remaining schedule and hand-picked the 10 juiciest remaining regular-season matchups.

What qualifies a game for this list?

For one, it must have significant playoff implications. It can't just be a game that's going to determine who's the No. 4 seed vs. No. 5. seed; it needs to be a make-or-break game for a team teetering on the playoffs or a litmus test for a championship contender.

Entertainment value also played a role in the selection of the games.

If you're going to watch only 10 regular-season NBA games in the final few weeks, make sure it's one of these.

Note: Games are sorted chronologically, not ranked in order of importance. 

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