The race for the Western Convention play-in is nearing its thrilling conclusion. Now, all eyes are on the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Memphis Grizzlies punched their ticket to the play-in with an enormous win over a Milwaukee Bucks crew taking part in with out Giannis Antetokounmpo, whereas the Phoenix Suns stayed excellent within the bubble with a 26-point victory over the Dallas Mavericks.
Phoenix now has yet another job — root arduous for the Brooklyn Nets. If the Path Blazers fall tonight towards the Nets, the ultimate play-in spot belongs to the Suns. If the Path Blazers win, the 8-Zero darlings of the bubble are despatched dwelling and the run continues for Damian Lillard & Co.
In the meantime, the early wins by Memphis and Phoenix ended the San Antonio Spurs‘ 22-season playoff streak, which is tied for the longest in NBA historical past.
Here is the newest on the standings, the video games to look at Thursday and Friday, and all the things you want to know. Test again for highlights and updates all through the day.
Booker leaves MKG within the mud
The Suns stayed excellent within the bubble as they battle for a spot within the West play-in. Buckets like this positive helped.
Not off the jabstep @DevinBook
— Tyson Chandler (@tysonchandler) August 13, 2020
The Grindfather and Z-Bo are within the constructing
“Grit ‘n’ Grind” legends Tony Allen and Zach Randolph had been noticed within the digital crowd in the course of the Grizzlies’ ultimate seeding sport. A win clinched Memphis a spot within the West play-in.
— FOX Sports activities Grizzlies (@GrizzliesOnFSSE) August 13, 2020
What had been LeBron and AD laughing at?
The world might by no means know.
LeBron & AD cannot cease laughing on the bench 😂 pic.twitter.com/8tGaTGUBMr
— ESPN (@espn) August 13, 2020
LeBron’s historic streak will proceed into 2020-21
LeBron James scored 17 factors in 15 minutes in Thursday’s seeding-round finale for the Los Angeles Lakers. Head coach Frank Vogel mentioned he wished to play James within the first half to “get him some work, some rhythm” with the sport towards the Sacramento Kings being the final likelihood for a tuneup earlier than L.A.’s playoff opener, probably coming Tuesday.
Whereas it wasn’t the smoothest efficiency for the 17-year veteran — he missed a few point-blank makes an attempt on the rim within the second quarter he’d certainly prefer to have again — he did safe a few statistical achievements value noting. His streak of scoring 10 factors or extra prolonged to 995 video games — he’ll formally take the streak, which started on Jan. 6, 2007, into subsequent season with an opportunity to push it to 1,000 within the first weeks of 2020-21.
And whereas his 4 assists on the day dipped his season common to 10.2 assists per sport, he nonetheless leads the league, incomes him the primary assists title of his profession.
— Dave McMenamin
The Kings are headed again to actuality
After weeks of being within the NBA’s protecting bubble, the Sacramento Kings are headed again to the skin world.
After the Kings completed the restart with a 136-122 win over the Lakers, Walton talked to his crew about crucial factor this offseason — specializing in staying protected and wholesome.
“It is very unusual,” Walton mentioned of the Kings going from being in a bubble to leaving after a sport. “And this has been life every single day for over a month now. We’re excited to get dwelling and see our households, however it’s totally different. It is one excessive after which we’re going proper again on the market to the actual world now. And a part of the messaging to the gamers was, guys, we have now to be very sensible about how we act once we get out of right here. …
“We’ve got plenty of duty so far as persevering with to put on a face masks, persevering with to social distance, washing our arms. Usually that’s not a part of your final postgame assembly with the crew. However for proper now, that’s in all probability crucial messaging to present the blokes.
“We do not know once we are taking part in once more. We acquired to make it possible for we deal with ourselves and keep protected.”
— Ohm Youngmisuk
The Wizards go away the bubble with a W
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The Washington Wizards grew to become the primary crew to depart the NBA campus Thursday — and so they did so on a excessive observe.
After shedding every of their first seven seeding video games right here contained in the league’s bubble at Walt Disney World Resort, the Wizards beat the Celtics 96-90 earlier than instantly flying again to Washington. By the top of the day Thursday, at the least two different groups — the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans — may have joined them, and two others from among the many 4 combating for a spot within the play-in event — the Portland Trail Blazers, Memphis Grizzlies, Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs — will see their seasons finish, too.
For the Wizards, a win is a win — no matter whether or not it got here towards a Celtics crew that was resting its prime six gamers in preparation for dealing with the Philadelphia 76ers within the first spherical of the playoffs subsequent week.
“Effectively, I feel we had a terrific expertise right here,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks mentioned. “We had plenty of good development, plenty of good bonding expertise, plenty of positives got here out of it. … We grew up slightly bit these previous two months collectively.
“I am proud of it, and we’re all excited in regards to the subsequent part of our improvement, and proper now we’re going to go dwelling and join with our households and go from there.”
— Tim Bontemps
What Westbrook’s harm means for Houston’s playoff run
An MRI Wednesday revealed a strained quad muscle for the Rockets’ All-Star guard, who’s now anticipated to overlook at the least the beginning of the crew’s playoff sequence subsequent week. How will the Rockets change Westbrook and the way a lot will they miss his presence?
Thursday night time’s must-see sport
Portland Path Blazers vs. Brooklyn Nets | 9 p.m. ET
What is going to Damian Lillard do subsequent? 51 factors? 61 points? Extra? Who is aware of. Lillard is averaging a bubble-best 37 factors whereas additionally placing up a mean of 9.three assists in 41.four minutes. CJ McCollum is the one different participant in Florida averaging 40 minutes per sport as Portland has leaned on its one-two combo to maintain the Blazers in playoff competition. Brooklyn is locked in because the No. 7 seed, and Jacque Vaughn — teaching for an opportunity to proceed on because the Nets’ head coach subsequent season — has his crew 5-2 general with three straight wins. — Lopez
Extra video games
Up to date West play-in standings
T-8. Memphis Grizzlies* | 34-39 (.466) | —
T-8. Phoenix Suns | 34-39 (.466) | —
T-8. Portland Path Blazers | 34-39 (.466) | —
* Clinched spot in West play-in
Friday’s Should-See Video games
For each of those groups, the objective shall be to get into the playoffs wholesome. Denver, which has handled accidents all through the bubble, will probably be exceedingly cautious on this sport because it waits on the return of wings Gary Harris and Will Barton.
The identical ought to go for the defending champions, who sat rotation gamers OG Anunoby and Serge Ibaka on Wednesday and have been even handed with minutes over the previous few days. Head coach Nick Nurse will probably give a lot of the Raptors’ regulars the time off. — Tim Bontemps
These two groups met on Monday, and the Warmth cruised to a cushty win. With this now set as a first-round playoff sequence, anticipate each groups to relaxation their key gamers in preparation for his or her showdown beginning early subsequent week. — Bontemps
Whereas Chris Paul shall be going up towards his previous crew, it is arduous to see him taking part in a lot. Identical goes for Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. What all of that may imply is Reggie Jackson will get a revenge sport towards his previous crew — which probably means huge numbers from him (if anybody is definitely taking part in DFS on the ultimate day of seeding video games). — Bontemps
The main focus for these two groups will not be what occurs on the courtroom, however as a substitute what the well being of two of their greatest stars is off of it. Joel Embiid left Wednesday’s sport towards Toronto due to a wrist harm, whereas Russell Westbrook sat out Houston’s loss to Indiana due to a strained quad. — Bontemps
Evaluation and intel
Different awards embrace Comeback Participant of the Bubble, Sixth Man of the Bubble and Greatest Coach
The playoff image is starting to take form as the ultimate week of seeding video games continues.
Phoenix is 7-0, and Portland retains profitable. Listed here are the newest projections for the four-team race.