2021 State Farm NBA Play-In Tournament

Play-In Picture: Wizards secure spot in Play-In Tournament

Washington can still finish 8th, 9th or 10th in the East, while Dallas clinched an outright playoff berth in the West.

NBA.com Staff

The Blazers and Lakers are the only two teams in the NBA who still don’t know if they will be in the Play-In Tournament or not.

Russell Westbrook posted his first triple-double since passing Oscar Robertson to become the NBA’s career leader, lifting Washington past the Cleveland Cavaliers 120-105 and helping the Wizards clinch a spot in the State Farm Play-In Tournament.

The Wizards won for the 16th time in 22 games to continue a late-season surge that vaulted them into the playoff race. They jumped over several teams along the way, including the Chicago Bulls, whom they eliminated from postseason contention on Friday.

Who the Wizards will meet in the Play-In play remains very much up in the air. They can still finish eighth, ninth or 10th, which means they could be playing at home or away, or in a single-elimination or double-elimination game.

The only thing we know for sure is Washington will play next Tuesday night, as the league announced that both Eastern Conference Play-In games will be played on May 18 with the No. 7 seed (Boston) hosting No. 8 in Game 1 and the No. 9 seed hosting No. 10 in Game 2.

Out West, meanwhile, Luka Doncic logged his 11th triple-double of the season and the Dallas Mavericks held off the Toronto Raptors 114-110 to clinch a playoff berth and avoid the Play-In Tournament.

Dallas holds a one-game lead over Portland for the No. 5 seed with one regular-season game remaining for both teams. The Blazers own the tiebreaker if they finish with the same record, since they won two of three against the Mavs this season.


If the State Farm NBA Play-In Tournament started today:

Eastern Conference

  • East 7 (Celtics) vs. East 8 (Hornets) | Winner gets No. 7 overall seed
  • East 9 (Pacers) vs. East 10 (Wizards) | Loser is eliminated
  • Loser 7/8 vs. Winner 9/10 | Winner gets No. 8 overall seed

Western Conference

  • West 7 (Lakers) vs. West 8 (Warriors) | Winner gets No. 7 overall seed
  • West 9 (Grizzlies) vs. West 10 (Spurs) | Loser is eliminated
  • Loser 7/8 vs. Winner 9/10 | Winner gets No. 8 overall seed

Playoff picture | Current standings | Play-In Tournament FAQ | NBA playoff history



7. Boston Celtics (–)

Boston Celtics logo Record: 35-35
Games Ahead (8th): 2.0

Last Result: 102-94 L @ CLE
Next Opponent: @ MIN on Saturday

The Celtics are locked into the No. 7 seed and will likely sit or at least limit the minutes for regulars in the final two regular-season games. Boston will host either Indiana, Charlotte or Washington next Tuesday night, with the winner advancing to play either Brooklyn or Milwaukee.


8. Charlotte Hornets (–)

Charlotte Hornets logoRecord: 33-37
Games Ahead (9th): —
*Holds tiebreaker vs. IND, WAS
Games Back (7th): 2.0
*BOS holds tiebreaker

Last Result: 113-90 L vs. LAC
Next Opponent: @ NYK on Saturday

Charlotte could never get going Thursday against an elite Clippers defense that had its own incentive to play well. They’ll get more of the same energy from New York and Washington (both on the road), but the Hornets will be desperate in their own right to avoid the single elimination path of ninth place.


9. Indiana Pacers (–)

Indiana Pacers logoRecord: 33-37
Games Ahead (10th): 0.5
*WAS holds tiebreaker
Games Back (8th): —
*CHA holds tiebreaker

Last Result: 142-133 L vs. MIL
Next Opponent: vs. LAL on Saturday

Indiana lost a huge chance to gain ground on the faltering Hornets. Normally 133 points and 21 makes from 3-point range would be enough, but the Bucks were even more proficient on Thursday. Now they have just two chances left to jump ahead of Charlotte, which holds the tiebreaker against the Pacers.


10. Washington Wizards (–)

Washington Wizards logoRecord: 33-38
Games Ahead (11th): 2.5
Games Back (8th): 0.5
*Holds tiebreaker vs. IND; CHA holds tiebreaker

Last Result: 120-105 vs. CLE
Next Opponent: vs. CHA on Sunday

The Wizards secured a spot in the Play-In on Friday night, riding another monster triple-double from Westbrook to victory. Now it’s about seeding as Washington sits a game behind Charlotte and Indiana for the 8th and 9th spot. The Wizards can climb to 8th (and avoid a single-elimination game) if the Lakers beat the Pacers on Saturday and the Wizards beat the Hornets in Sunday’s regular-season finale.

11. Chicago Bulls (

Chicago Bulls logoRecord: 30-40
Games Back (10th): 2.5

Last Result: 114-102 L vs. Raptors
Next Opponent: @ BKN on Saturday


The Bulls were eliminated from the Play-In chase when the Wizards beat the Cavs. Chicago did win four of its last five games, offering glimmers of hope for the future.





5. Dallas Mavericks (🔼)

Dallas Mavericks logoRecord: 42-29
Games Ahead (7th): 1.0
*Holds tiebreaker vs. LAL, POR holds tiebreaker

Last Result: 114-110 W vs. TOR
Next Opponent: @MIN on Sunday


There will be no Play-In Tournament for the Mavs, who clinched an outright playoff berth Friday with their win over the Raptors. Dallas holds a one-game lead over Portland for the No. 5 seed with one regular-season game remaining for both teams. So the only drama left is whether the Mavs will retain the No. 5 seed or be the No. 6 seed — and whether they play the Clippers or Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs.


6. Portland Trail Blazers (🔽)

Portland Trail Blazers logoRecord: 41-30
Games Ahead (7th): 0.5
*Holds tiebreaker vs. LAL
Games Back (5th): 1.o
*Holds tiebreaker vs. DAL

Last Result: 118-117 L @ PHX
Next Opponent: vs. DEN on Sunday

The Blazers nearly clinched a top-six spot Thursday night, only to see a pair of Devin Booker free throws put that goal in doubt. Portland must now win its season finale against Denver to guarantee remaining above the Play-In. A loss would put their fate in the hands of the Mavericks and Lakers.


7. Los Angeles Lakers (–)

Los Angeles Lakers logoRecord: 40-30
Games Ahead (11th): 9.5
Games Back (6th): 0.5
*POR holds tiebreaker

Last Result: 124-122 W vs. HOU
Next Opponent: @ IND on Saturday

Los Angeles can still avoid the Play-In Tournament if they win their final two regular-season games, on the road against the Pacers and Pelicans, and the Blazers lose their season finale, a home game vs. the Nuggets. Otherwise, the Lakers are headed for a Play-In matchup with either the Grizzlies or Warriors.


8. Golden State Warriors ()

Golden State Warriors logoRecord: 38-33
Games Ahead (9th): —
*Hold tiebreaker vs. MEM
Games Back (7th): 2.5

Last Result: 125-122 W vs. MOP
Next Opponent: vs. MEM on Sunday

Steve Kerr rested his starters Friday and Golden State’s supporting cast delivered a narrow victory over the depleted Pelicans. The season finale will determine seeding: The Warriors must beat Memphis to secure the No. 8 seed and if they lose will wind up ninth. The eighth seed will play its first game on the road at the seventh seed while the No. 9 team hosts the 10th seed.


9. Memphis Grizzlies ()

Memphis Grizzlies logoRecord: 38-33
Games Ahead (10th): 4.5
Games Back (8th): —
*GSW holds tiebreaker

Last Result: 107-106 W vs. SAC
Next Opponent: @ GSW on Sunday

Memphis also rested its regulars Friday and pulled out a win over Sacramento thanks to a huge game from Justise Winslow (25 points and 13 rebounds). The game meant nothing to either team as far as the standings for the postseason. The Kings were eliminated Thursday night, while the Grizzles have a winner-takes-eighth showdown with the Warriors on Sunday.


10. San Antonio Spurs (–)

San Antionio Spurs logoRecord: 33-37
Games Ahead (11th): 2.0
*Holds tiebreaker vs. SAC
Games Back (9th): 4.0

Last Result: 102-98 L @ NYK
Next Opponent: vs. PHX on Saturday

The Spurs clinched a Play-In spot Thursday with a little help from the Kings as they were officially eliminated from contention. San Antonio is now locked in at 10th place, rendering their last two games against Phoenix essentially meaningless. The Spurs will face the loser of the Sunday’s Grizzlies-Warriors finale in a win-or-go-home Play-In battle.