NBA: Western Play-In Set As Regular Season Concludes

The NBA’s ‘regular season’ came to its conclusion at the Orlando bubble on Thursday, and despite the fact that only one seed was up for grab in this season’s playoffs, it was still quite a dramatic day. That’s because four teams came into the day with a shot at making it to a play-in to contest for the eighth and final Western Conference seed. The Memphis Grizzlies, San Antonio Spurs, Phoenix Suns, and Portland Trail Blazers all have a chance at it, and the action began with the Grizzlies taking on the Milwaukee Bucks.


With a victory, the Grizzlies guaranteed that they would be in the play-in in some fashion, and that’s what they got via a 119-106 win. Both Jonas Valanciunas and Ja Morant had triple-doubles and Dillon Brooks had 31 points, putting them into the game and eliminating the Spurs. As a result, the Spurs, who came into the bubble with virtually no chance at making the playoffs, will miss them for the first time in 22 years. Next up, the Suns kept their hopes alive with a 128-102 win over the Dallas Mavericks. Devin Booker dropped 27 points, and that made them a perfect 8-0 in their temporary environment. So, it would come down to the night cap. If the Blazers defeated the Brooklyn Nets, they would be the ‘control’ team for the play-in. However, a loss would eliminate them entirely. In the end, they held on to win 134-133, getting 42 points from Damian Lillard. He also had a huge steal that tipped the balance and gave them the chance. Now, they will face the Grizzlies on Saturday. If the Blazers win, they will advance immediately to face the Lakers in the playoffs proper. But a loss would put them into a winner-take-all affair on Sunday with the Grizz.

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