Today’s NBA Playoff clinching scenarios: Nuggets can capture final spot in West, push Timberwolves to Play-In Tournament

The Western Conference’s Playoff and Play-In Tournament fields could be finalized on Thursday night.

If the Nuggets defeat the Grizzlies, they will secure the last available playoff berth and send the Timberwolves to the Play-In Tournament. A victory is far from a sure thing, though, as Memphis has won the last three matchups against Denver.

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Over in the Eastern Conference, the top teams are still fighting for positioning. However, there could be a clear No. 1 by the end of the evening, as the Heat will snag the top seed if the 76ers and Celtics both lose.

Here are the latest clinching scenarios, plus an updated look at the standings in the East and West.

NBA Playoffs 2022: Clinching scenarios for Thursday, April 7

Eastern Conference

  • The Celtics clinch the Atlantic Division title with a win AND a 76ers loss.
  • The Heat clinch best record in the East with losses by the Celtics AND 76ers.

Western Conference

  • The Nuggets clinch an NBA Playoff spot with a win OR a Timberwolves loss.
  • The Timberwolves are locked into the Play-In Tournament with a loss OR a Nuggets win.
  • The Jazz clinch the Northwest Division title with a Nuggets loss.

NBA standings 2022: Eastern Conference

(Current through April 6 games)

Seed Team Record Games back
1. Heat* 52-28
2. Celtics* 50-30 2
3. Bucks* 49-30 2.5
4. 76ers* 49-30  2.5
5. Raptors* 46-33 5.5
6. Bulls* 45-35 7
7. Cavaliers** 43-37 9
8. Nets** 42-38 10
9. Hawks** 42-38 10
10. Hornets** 40-39 11.5
Wizards 35-45 17
Knicks 35-45 17
Pacers 25-55 27
Pistons 23-57 29
Magic 21-59 31

*clinched NBA Playoff berth
**clinched NBA Play-In berth
Eliminated from NBA Playoff contention: Knicks, Magic, Pacers, Pistons, Wizards

NBA standings 2022: Western Conference

(Current through April 6 games)

Seed Team Record Games back
1. Suns* 63-17
2. Grizzlies* 55-24 7.5
3. Warriors* 50-29 12.5
4. Mavericks* 50-30 13
5. Jazz* 48-32 15
6. Nuggets 47-33 16
7. Timberwolves 45-35 18
8. Clippers** 40-40 23
9. Pelicans** 35-44 27.5
10. Spurs** 34-45 28.5
Lakers 31-48 31.5
Kings 29-51 34
Trail Blazers 27-52 35.5
Thunder 24-56 39
Rockets 20-60 43

*clinched NBA Playoff berth
**clinched NBA Play-In berth

Eliminated from NBA Playoff contention: Kings, Lakers, Rockets, Thunder, Trail Blazers

NBA schedule: Full list of games for Thursday, April 7

Game Time (ET) National TV
Magic vs. Hornets 7 p.m.
76ers vs. Raptors 7:30 p.m.
Celtics vs. Bucks 7:30 p.m. TNT
Spurs vs. Timberwolves 8 p.m.
Trail Blazers vs. Pelicans 8 p.m.
Grizzlies vs. Nuggets 9 p.m.
Lakers vs. Warriors 10 p.m. TNT

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