NBA playoffs seeding, Play-In Tournament and live updates: Schedule, standings and latest news The battles for seeding in the Eastern and Western Conferences could come down to the final day of the regular season.

Mike Prada, John Hollinger and more

April 10, 2024 at 4:18 AM GMT+1

NBA playoffs seeding, Play-In Tournament and live updates: Schedule, standings and latest news

 

 

The NBA’s 2023-24 regular season ends in five days! Afterward, we get the Play-In Tournament before the real playoffs arrive. Until then, though, there’s still so much to settle and watch for this week. Here are the top five things to track. Be sure to keep the standings handy:

 

The No. 1 seed in the West

The No. 2 seed in the East

Getting out of the East Play-In

The 4-5 matchup in the West

Avoiding the Play-In in the West

Read on for more on these races.

 

 

West’s race for No. 1 highlights NBA’s stretch run. Plus, Dawn Staley already among GOATs?

GO FURTHER

 

West’s race for No. 1 highlights NBA’s stretch run. Plus, Dawn Staley already among GOATs?

 

 

The Denver Nuggets defeat the Utah Jazz 111-95. For Denver, this sets up a monstrous matchup against Minnesota tomorrow night at Ball Arena, with the winner likely taking the West’s No. 1 seed. For Utah, this is a 13th consecutive loss.

 

Timberwolves, Nuggets, Thunder all won tonight

 

The LA Clippers are mathematically out of a top-3 seed

 

 

Here is an exchange I had with Bucks point guard Damian Lillard, who strained his right soleus muscle in his calf at the start of last season. Lillard’s teammate, Giannis Antetokounmpo, left tonight’s game with a left soleus strain.

 

When I googled soleus strains in the NBA, I saw that…

 

“I did it last year.”

 

So, I was going to ask you, what did it feel like?

 

“That s— hurt. It hurt. And it makes sense. Usually I’m able to walk things off, I feel like I have a high pain tolerance. When I did it, I started to walk, (but) it wasn’t just that it was that painful, it was that the muscle just can’t handle it. So, I think once it calmed down, you kind of figured out a way to limp around it, but it’s a weird feeling. But hearing that, I know, I know that feeling. And also as somebody who experienced that — if that’s what it is — that’s also encouraging.

 

Is that something you were able to rehab pretty quickly? Or did you need to take some time off of it first?

 

When I did it, I strained my calf, and then I came back after like, I’d probably say, eight or nine days, I came back from the calf. And then I strained, I had the soleus injury like right after I came back. I think it was like a game or two after I came back, I did my soleus. And then after that, it was like two weeks. For me, it was like two weeks and then I came back and played.

 

The last time the Warriors, who beat the host Lakers on March 16, won back-to-back games at Crypto.com Arena was 2019. It was the final season of the Kevin Durant tenure in Golden State. But the Lakers didn’t have LeBron James for either of those games. He was out after sustaining an injury on Christmas Day against the Warriors, and Anthony Davis was still a New Orleans Pelican.

 

Take out the LeBron-less wins, and the Warriors’ last back-to-back road wins against the Lakers came in 2017 — that window between the Kobe Bryant and LeBron James eras. The Warriors followed a Nov. 29 overtime win at then-Staples Center with a Dec. 18 overtime win in Los Angeles.

 

That Lakers’ squad? Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Julius Randle, Kyle Kuzma and Jordan Clarkson, with 24-year-old Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and 29-year-old Brook Lopez as veterans.

 

One of the reasons for the Warriors’ struggles: Steph Curry doesn’t shoot it well, traditionally, in this arena. With Steve Kerr as his coach since the start of the championship era, Curry has played 18 road games against the Lakers, including last year’s playoffs. He averaged 22.6 points on 41.2 percent shooting. He made just 52-of-177 from three-point range (29.4 percent).

 

Conversely, in Curry’s 18 games in the same time frame, in the same building, but against the Clippers, he averaged 26.7 points on 49.5 percent shooting. He made 73-of-179 from deep (40.8 percent).

 

Curry’s best games on the road against the Lakers came against Kobe. Curry has topped 30 just seven times in this building against the Lakers, three of them against the Kobe Lakers. Those three games are the only times Curry has made 5 threes or more. Curry’s biggest hame ever against the Lakers in this building: April 12, 2013. He scored 47, making nine threes in a two-point loss. He almost made the greatest shot of his life that game, his buzzer-beating beating heave from about 80 feet banked off the glass before rimming out.

 

 

The Orlando Magic (46-33) may have squandered a golden opportunity to get the East’s No. 2 seed after losing 118-106 to the eliminated Houston Rockets on the road. Orlando still might get there if it wins out, since two of those games are against the Bucks, who now may not have Giannis Antetokounmpo due to a calf injury. But the Rockets had nothing to play for, so this loss stings.

 

The Knicks (47-32) move up to the No. 3 seed temporarily after defeating the Chicago Bulls 128-117. But New York would lose tiebreakers to Orlando and Milwaukee.

 

 

Gut-punch loss for the Sacramento Kings (45-34) in Oklahoma City tonight to close a disheartening 1-3 road trip. They led by 20 in the first half, but went ice cold, scoring 23 in the third quarter and 18 in the fourth, watching the Thunder slowly walk them down and eventually beat them 112-105. Earlier in the trip, they led by one in Boston, but lost on an Xavier Tillman floater.

 

Had those results flipped, the Kings would have the inside track for the sixth seed. Instead, they wobble home without the injured Kevin Huerter and Malik Monk trying to avoid falling into the 9 vs. 10 side of the Play-In Tournament. They have a huge home back-to-back on Thursday and Friday night against the Pelicans and Suns, the two teams directly ahead of them in the standings, so a climb up is still possible. But a tumble back is also possible, depending on how the Warriors-Lakers game finishes.

 

The Warriors can leap past the Kings if they go 4-0 this week and Sacramento loses two of its final three.

 

 

The LA Clippers took a 31-point lead in the first quarter tonight in Phoenix. They clinch a playoff spot with a win, and they’re doing their part, holding Suns to 2-of-19 shooting from the field in the opening quarter.

 

 

Anthony Edwards scores 51 as Timberwolves survive Wizards

Timberwolves 130, Wizards 121

 

It wasn’t always pretty, but the Wolves (55-24) got it done to set up a HUGE game tomorrow night in Denver. against the Nuggets

 

Anthony Edwards: 51 points, 7 assists in 38 minutes

 

Rudy Gobert: 19 points, 16 rebounds, 38 minutes

 

Nickiel Alexander-Walker: 23 points

 

Mike Conley: 15 points (all 5 3s in the second half)

 

Play: Video

52m ago

William Guillory

Staff Writer, Pelicans

 

 

Things are going about as well as the Pelicans could’ve hoped so far today as they continue to battle for the 6th seed. Sacramento lost to OKC. Phoenix is currently down 28-4 against the LA Clippers. And the Lakers, who are without Anthony Davis tonight, are down double digits against the Warriors. If the Pels handle business tonight against the Blazers and the Kings/Suns/Lakers all lose, NOLA would move up to the 6th seed and they’d be two games up on Sacramento going into Thursday’s game against the Kings.

 

52m ago

Joe Vardon

Senior Writer, NBA

 

 

Heat survive Hawks, but face uphill climb to move up

Heat survive Hawks, but face uphill climb to move up 

Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images

 

Well, the Heat survived, as they are wont to do at this time of year.

 

Miami needing double overtime to dispatch the Atlanta Hawks, 117-109, is not ideal. The Heat, who are trying to catch Philadelphia for seventh place and perhaps even the Pacers for sixth, have to fly back to Miami for another game Wednesday against the surging Dallas Mavericks.

 

The two silver linings: The Mavericks also played Tuesday, and the Heat could’ve lost Tuesday and didn’t. But Miami will likely need to win all three of its remaining games and get some help to move out of eighth in the East.

 

The Sixers won their game Tuesday, beating Detroit, and the Pacers dumped the Raptors. So as things stand, Indiana (46-34) holds a 1-game lead over Philadelphia (45-35) for sixth, while Miami (44-35) is barely behind both.

 

The Heat have three games left, all at home, beginning Wednesday with Dallas followed by Friday and Sunday games against the Raptors. The Sixers are also at home the rest of the way, with a huge game Friday against Orlando and then a season finisher against Brooklyn. The Pacers have to go to Cleveland – Indiana trails the Cavs by just one half game for fifth in the East – and then hosts the Hawks Sunday.

 

Tyler Herro, just back from an extended absence because of injury, led Miami with 33 points against Atlanta. Joel Embiid was the Sixers’ high man with 37 points against Detroit, and the Pacers’ best was Tyrese Haliburton with 30 points against Toronto.

 

As the three jockey for position, it is likely two of them will face each other in the 7-8 Play-In game. The winner of that game could well face Milwaukee (if the Bucks hold onto the second seed), and we don’t right now if Giannis Antetokounmpo suffered a major injury Tuesday night.

 

If he did, that matchup picks up a lot more appeal. Remember, the Heat, fought their way through the Play-In last year and beat the Bucks as a 1 seed in the first-round of the playoffs. Miami, of course, fought all the way into the Finals.

 

1h ago

Law Murray

Staff Writer, Clippers

 

 

The LA Clippers need a combination of two of their wins and Mavericks losses to clinch a top-4 seed, I.e., the Clippers’ magic number for home-court advantage in conference quarterfinals is two.

 

They will not clinch that tonight, though, as the Mavericks decisively won in Charlotte prior to the Clippers’ visit to Phoenix Tuesday night.

 

2h ago

Eric Nehm

Staff Writer, Bucks

 

 

Bucks coach Doc Rivers tells reporters that Giannis Antetokounmpo is undergoing testing for his left calf, an MRI.

 

Question: We were told it is a left soleus/calf strain. Just curious: did he get an Achilles tendon test.

 

Answer: “Yeah. They’re testing him for the calf, which is obviously an MRI. They’ll check them both, yeah.”

 

Question: And there are no updates on that?

 

Answer: “No. He just left a little while ago.”

 

2h ago

Jared Weiss

Staff Writer, Celtics

 

 

Credit to Khris Middleton and the Bucks for coming out strong to enter the fourth quarter after losing Giannis Antetokounmpo for the night. The Celtics had clawed back late in the third quarter to finally make this a competitive game and Milwaukee closed the door on that pretty quickly. The Bucks have shot well while the Celtics have been ice cold, but Middleton has just taken over at the right moments by targeting mismatches and capitalizing on second-chance opportunities.

 

2h ago

Eric Nehm

Staff Writer, Bucks

 

 

Giannis Antetokounmpo injured against Celtics

Giannis Antetokounmpo injured against Celtics

With 3:40 remaining in the third quarter of Tuesday’s game vs. the Celtics, Giannis Antetokounmpo crumpled to the floor while running up the court and immediately started to hold the lower portion of his left leg. After sitting on the floor for a short period, he was helped off the floor by teammates, but went straight back to the locker room under his own power.

 

The Bucks have announced that his injury is a left calf strain — specifically the soleus muscle — and he will not return to tonight’s game. Here’s more from Doc Rivers after the game.

 

A look back at Giannis heading into the locker room in the 3rd quarter pic.twitter.com/9AkFnDCtI0

 

— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) April 10, 2024

 

Mike Prada

2h ago

Mike Prada

Staff Editor, NBA

 

 

Doc Rivers told TNT’s Stephanie Ready he had no update on Giannis Antetokounmpo’s injury:

 

“Hopefully, he’ll be all right. I think he will be.”

 

2h ago

Eric Nehm

Staff Writer, Bucks

 

 

Giannis Antetokounmpo is down on the floor after he went to the floor with no contact running up the floor in the third quarter against the Boston Celtics.

 

Doc Rivers called a timeout and his teammates helped him off the floor and back to the locker room.

 

3h ago

Jon Greenberg

Senior Columnist & EIC, Chicago

 

 

In Chicago, with the Bulls trailing 36-27 in the second quarter, Chicago’s Torrey Craig got a steal and on a 3-0 breakaway tried to throw himself an alley-oop off the glass. Andre Drummond, the trail man, thought the oop was for him and they both tried to dunk it. It didn’t go well. Drummond then hurt his leg and had to be helped off the court and moved to a wheelchair.

 

WHAT JUST HAPPENED?! @shaqtin 😂😭 pic.twitter.com/Jx9Uk7tYQ0

 

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 10, 2024

Bulls center Andre Drummond has exited tonight’s game in a wheelchair early in the second quarter. pic.twitter.com/0BOXzWEWN3

 

— Darnell Mayberry (@DarnellMayberry) April 10, 2024

3h ago

Law Murray

Staff Writer, Clippers

 

 

James Harden is out for the Clippers against the Suns. Russell Westbrook will start for first time since November.

 

3h ago

Anthony Slater

Senior Writer, Warriors

 

 

Darvin Ham says LeBron James is still a “game-time decision” tonight vs Warriors. Anthony Davis is out. Davis will miss seven of the eight quarters in these two late-season games vs Warriors. Left after 1Q last month. Warriors will see plenty of Jaxson Hates tonight.

 

3h ago

Jovan Buha

Senior Writer, Lakers

 

 

What’s at stake for the Lakers

A loss to the Warriors dramatically increases the odds the Lakers are in the No. 9-10 game. The Warriors would have the head-to-head tiebreaker over LA. If the Warriors win out — which is realistic — they’d be ahead of the Lakers no matter what (and likely push LA to No. 10).

 

 

Gideon Canice

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