NBA playoff picture: Lakers, Jazz fight for postseason hopes on final night of season
Here’s what’s at stake for playoff-contending teams on the final night of the regular season:
Rockets at Lakers (10:30 p.m. ET): The Lakers (44-37) will clinch the No. 7 seed with a win over the Rockets (45-36). A loss and a Utah (43-38) win eliminates Los Angeles. If both teams lose, the Lakers would be the No. 8 seed. A variety of scenarios are in play for the Rockets: They can secure the No. 6 seed with a win and a Warriors (46-35) loss, can slip to the No. 7 seed if both they and the Warriors win and can fall to eighth if they lose.
Jazz at Grizzlies (8 p.m.): With a win and a Lakers loss, the Jazz would clinch the No. 8 seed and a first-round matchup with the Thunder. The Grizzlies (55-26) are locked into the fifth seed, but can secure home-court advantage in a first-round series with a win and a Clippers (55-26) loss.
Hornets at Mavericks (8 p.m.): Both teams are eliminated from playoff contention. A loss would help both improve their lottery odds.
Timberwolves at Spurs (8 p.m.): The Spurs (58-23) are locked into the No. 2 seed.
Bucks at Thunder (8 p.m.): The Thunder (60-21) and Bucks (37-44) are locked into playoff positions. Oklahoma City, the No. 1 seed, will play the still undetermined eighth seed in the West. Milwaukee, No. 8 in the East, is preparing for a first-round matchup with the Heat.
Suns at Nuggets (8 p.m.): With a win or Clippers loss, the Nuggets (56-25) can secure the No. 3 seed. If the Nuggets lose and Clippers win, Denver drops to the No. 4 seed.
Clippers at Kings (10:30 p.m.): The Clippers can grab the No. 3 seed with a win and a Nuggets loss. If the Nuggets win, the Clippers will be the fourth seed. Los Angeles can secure home-court advantage in a first-round series with the Grizzlies with a win or Grizzlies loss.
Warriors at Blazers (10:30 p.m.): A win or Rockets loss secures the No. 6 seed for Golden State. The Warriors will be seeded seventh if they lose and the Rockets win.
Celtics at Raptors (8 p.m.): The Celtics (41-39) have secured the No. 7 seed. They will face the Knicks in the first round.
Pistons at Nets (8 p.m.): The Nets (48-33) are locked into the No. 4 seed and will have home-court advantage in the first round.
Hawks at Knicks (8 p.m.): With a win and a Bulls (44-37) loss, the Hawks (44-37) will clinch the No. 5 seed and a first-round matchup with the Nets. If Atlanta loses, it will be seeded sixth.
Cavaliers at Bobcats (8 p.m.): The Bobcats (20-61) are tied with the Magic (20-61) for the worst record in the league. Another loss would help their odds in the draft lottery. If both teams lose, a drawing will be held to determine their lottery odds, reports the Orlando Sentinel.
Magic at Heat (8 p.m.): The Heat (65-16) have secured the No. 1 seed and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. They will face the Bucks in the first round. Orlando’s situation is explained above.
Sixers at Pacers (8 p.m.): The Pacers (49-31) have clinched the No. 3 seed and home-court advantage in the first round. They will face either the Bulls or Hawks in the first round.
Wizards at Bulls (8 p.m.): The Bulls can secure the No. 5 seed, and a meeting with the Nets in the first round, with a win. A loss and an Atlanta win drops Chicago to the sixth seed.