The Memphis Grizzlies are hanging on to the play-in game with their pinky finger. The Phoenix Suns are trying to complete an unexpected 8-0 run through seeding games and get into the play-in game. The Portland Trail Blazers are playing with the confidence (hello Damian Lillard) of a team that could upset the No. 1 seed in the first round of the playoffs. The San Antonio Spurs are trying to make the playoffs for the 23rd consecutive season.
So much is at stake on Thursday when four teams try to snag the two spots for the play-in game in the Western Conference.
For Portland and Memphis, it’s simple. They win, they get in. However, if one or both lose, it opens the door for Phoenix and San Antonio. But the Suns and Spurs need help.
Carmelo Anthony (00) of the Portland Trail Blazers and Damian Lillard celebrate a win against the Philadelphia 76ers. (Photo: Kevin C. Cox, Pool Photo for USA TODAY Sports)
Memphis plays Milwaukee (4 p.m. ET, NBA League Pass), Dallas faces Phoenix (4 p.m. ET, TNT) San Antonio takes on Utah (6:30 p.m., TNT) and Portland plays Brooklyn (9 p.m. ET). The teams that finish as the eighth and ninth seeds will meet in a play-in game Saturday. If the ninth seed wins, they play again Sunday to determine the final seed in the West. The eighth seed needs to win just once to secure the final playoff spot.
Here are the scenarios in which each team can make the play-in game or be eliminated, and check back throughout the day for updates:
Portland will be:
No. 8 seed if Blazers win or Grizzlies, Suns and Spurs lose
No. 9 seed if Blazers lose and loss by any two of Grizzlies, Suns or Spurs
Eliminated if Blazers lose and wins by any two of Grizzlies, Suns or Spurs
Memphis will be:
No. 8 seed if Grizzlies win and Blazers lose
No. 9 seed if Grizzlies win and Blazers win or Grizzlies, Suns and Spurs all lose
Eliminated if Grizzlies lose and wins by either Suns or Spurs
Phoenix will be:
No. 8 seed if Suns win and Blazers and Grizzlies both lose
No. 9 seed if Suns win and Blazers or Grizzlies lose
Eliminated if Suns lose
San Antonio will be:
No. 8 seed if Spurs win and Blazers, Grizzlies and Suns all lose
No. 9 seed if Spurs win and loss by any two of Blazers, Grizzlies and Suns
Eliminated if Spurs lose
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