Pelicans, Kings eliminated

One day after Damian Lillard shocked the NBA world by missing two late free throws in Portland’s crucial loss to the Clippers, the Blazers’ superstar bounced back with 51 points on Sunday to lead Portland to a huge 124-121 victory over the Sixers. With the win, the Blazers moved to within a half-game of the No. 8 Grizzlies and continue to control their own destiny for at least a spot in the play-in series. 

Also with Portland’s win, the New Orleans Pelicans were eliminated from playoff contention. Sacramento has also been eliminated after losing to Houston on Sunday. 

Reminder: At the conclusion of each team’s eight seeding games, the top seven seeds in each conference will be locked. At that point, if the No. 9 seed is within four games of the No. 8 seed, those two will decide the final spot via a play-in series, with the lower seed having to beat the higher seed twice, but the higher seed only needing to win once. 

Below is a look at where the playoff picture stands, from seeds to current matchups. 

*This article will update at the conclusion of each night until the seeding games conclude.

Western Conference

1. Lakers51-18 (–)vs. Grizzlies/Blazers
2. Clippers47-23 (4.5 GB)vs. Mavericks
3. Nuggets46-24 (6 GB)vs. Jazz
4. Rockets44-25 (7 GB)vs. Thunder
5. Thunder43-26 (8 GB)vs. Rockets
6. Jazz43-27 (8.5 GB)vs. Nuggets
7. Mavericks42-30 (10.5 GB)vs. Clippers
8. Grizzlies33-38 (19 GB)vs. Blazers (Play-in)

No changes in the Western Conference standings on Sunday, but the Grizzlies’ lead on the No. 8 seed has shrunk from three games entering the bubble to a half-game. 

Race for No. 8

9. Trail Blazers33-39.5 GB
10. Spurs31-381 GB
11. Suns31-391.5 GB
12. Pelicans30-40Eliminated
13. Kings29-41Eliminated

The Blazers, after a huge win over Philly on Sunday, continue to have the inside track on a play-in series with Memphis because they will have the tiebreaker based on winning percentage over both San Antonio and Phoenix. 

Eastern Conference

1. Bucks55-15 (–)vs. Magic
2. Raptors50-19 (4.5 GB)vs. Nets
3. Celtics47-23 (8 GB)vs. 76ers
4. Heat43-27 (12 GB)vs. Pacers
5. Pacers43-27 (12 GB)vs. Heat
6. 76ers42-28 (13 GB)vs. Celtics
7. Nets34-36 (21 GB)vs. Raptors
8. Magic32-39 (23.5 GB)vs. Bucks

No change in the Eastern Conference standings on Sunday. 

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