Sports | August 13, 2020 12:07 pm

Playoff Fate of Suns, Blazers, Grizzlies and Spurs Determined Today

The four teams are hoping to make Saturday's play-in game(s)

Playoff Fate of Suns, Blazers, Grizzlies and Spurs TBD Today
Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns looks on during the first half of a game. (Alika Jenner/Getty)
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The race between the Portland Trail Blazers, Memphis Grizzlies, Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference has reached its final sprint.

On Thursday, it will be decided which of those four clubs will continue their season in Saturday’s play-in game when the No. 8 seed and No. 9 seed face off for the right to take on the top-seeded Lakers. If the No. 9 seed wins, there will be a second, winner-take-all, play-in game. 

All four teams play Thursday, and Portland (34-39) and Memphis (33-39) control their fates and just need to win to get in. Phoenix (33-39) and San Antonio (32-38) must win and get help.

Phoenix plays Dallas, Memphis plays Milwaukee, San Antonio plays Utah and Portland plays Brooklyn to close out the day. With their playoff spots already locked in, the Mavericks, Bucks, Jazz and Nets have nothing to play for and may be resting players before the start of the actual playoffs.

Assuming all the Western Conference play-in contenders win, the Blazers and Grizzlies would play on Saturday and an 8-0 run by Phoenix in the NBA Bubble would go to waste as the Suns would not qualify for the playoffs.

“We can finally look at it,” Suns coach Monty Williams said. “It’s our next step. We know we’re not totally in control of our fate, but we put ourselves in a good position. Nobody would have guessed the Phoenix Suns would have been in this position when all of this started.”

Once the actual playoffs do start, the Bucks will face the Magic, the Raptors will take on the Nets, the Celtics will match up with the Sixers and the Heat will play the Pacers in the East.

In the West, the Clippers will play the Mavericks, the Nuggets will take on the Jazz, the Thunder will face the Rockets and the Lakers will play the winner of the play-in game(s).

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