State Farm NBA Play-In Tournament

Play-In Picture: Mavericks jump over Lakers for No. 5 in West

Miami, Golden State fail to gain ground while New Orleans closes the gap for West's final spot in Play-In Tournament.

Scott Wraight,

May 4: State Farm Play-In Tournament update

AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami has seen its fair share of impressive performances from Tim Hardaway. On Tuesday night, his son, Tim Hardaway Jr., stole the show, scoring a game-high 36 points to elevate the Mavericks over the short-handed Heat. Hardaway Jr. tied a franchise record with 10 3-pointers, joining George McCloud (1995) and Wesley Matthews (2015).

”Having that honor and that privilege to play under that jersey, it’s special,” Hardaway Jr. said after the game. Hardaway’s No. 10 jersey has been hanging from the rafters since 2009.

With the win, Dallas leaps over the Los Angeles Lakers for the No. 5 seed in the West since it holds the tiebreaker.

If the State Farm 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 (Trail Blazers) 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


5. Atlanta Hawks (–)

Atlanta Hawks LogoRecord: 36-30
Games Ahead (7th): 1.5
*Holds tiebreaker vs. MIA, BOS
Games Back (5th): –

Last Result: 93-89 W vs. DEN
Next Opponent: vs. PHX on Wednesday

Atlanta kept hold of it’s place in the No. 5 spot thanks to Miami faltering at home against the Dallas Mavericks. The Hawks are 1 1/2 games behind the New York Knicks for the No. 4 seed and each of them faces an imposing test on Wednesday. Atlanta hosts the West-leading Phoenix Suns (8 ET, NBA League Pass) while the Knicks visit the sizzling Denver Nuggets (9 ET, NBA League Pass).


6. Miami Heat (–)

Miami Heat logoRecord: 35-31
Games Ahead (7th): 0.5
*BOS holds tiebreaker
Games Back (5th): 1.0
*ATL holds tiebreaker

Last Result: 127-113 L vs. DAL
Next Opponent: vs. MIN on Friday

This is a loss the Heat may end up circling if they drop into the Play-In. With a chance to stay within 1/2 game  of Atlanta for No. 5 and a full game ahead of Boston for No. 7, Miami came up short. Things will get even more interesting as the Heat play the Celtics twice on the road next week. Buckle up.



7. Boston Celtics (–)

Boston Celtics logo Record: 34-31
Games Ahead (11th): 7.5
Games Back (6th): 0.5

Last Result: 129-119 L vs. POR
Next Opponent: @ ORL on Wednesday


The Celtics had the night off and saw the No. 8-seeded Hornets get a little closer to them after Charlotte defeated the Detroit Pistons. Boston has just a two-game lead on Charlotte for No. 7 and its game Wednesday is in Orlando (7 ET, NBA League Pass). The road is where Boston will make its Play-In fortunes known as five of the Celtics’ final seven games are away from TD Garden.


8. Charlotte Hornets (–)

Charlotte Hornets logoRecord: 32-33
Games Ahead (11th): 5.5
Games Back (6th): 2.5

Last Result: 102-99 W vs. DET
Next Opponent: vs. CHI on Thursday


LaMelo Ball delivered like a grizzled veteran down the stretch Tuesday night, scoring 23 points (adding seven rebounds and six assists) while hitting two key free throws with 5.8 seconds left to give the Hornets a critical win over the Pistons. Charlotte strengthened its grip on the No. 8 spot thanks to Ball’s clutch night.


9. Indiana Pacers (–)

Indiana Pacers logoRecord: 30-34
Games Ahead (11th): 4.0
Games Back (6th): 4.0

Last Result: 154-141 L @ WAS
Next Opponent: vs. SAC on Wednesday


The Pacers had the night off, but times haven’t been good in Indiana of late. It has lost six of its last 10 games and three of its last four as it prepares to host the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday (8 ET, NBA League Pass). That game may be one of the Pacers’ least difficult remaining challenges of the season as six of their next seven games are against teams battling for playoff or Play-In positioning.


10. Washington Wizards (–)

Washington Wizards logoRecord: 30-35
Games Ahead (11th): 3.5
Games Back (6th): 4.5

Last Result: 154-141 W vs. IND
Next Opponent: @ MIL on Wednesday


What will Russell Westbrook do next? After making more statistical history with his 20-rebound, 20-assist game against the Pacers on Monday, he and the Wizards face the rising Bucks on Wednesday (8 ET, NBA League Pass). Washington has won three of its last four and has a 3 1/2-game lead on the Raptors for the No. 10 spot.



11. Toronto Raptors (–)

Toronto Raptors logoRecord: 27-39
Games Back (10th): 3.5

Last Result: 105-100 L @ LAC
Next Opponent: vs. WAS on Thursday



Fred VanVleet returned from an eight-game absence to put up 27 points and 13 assists. It wasn’t enough to hold off the Clippers, who rallied in the fourth quarter to hand Toronto a costly defeat. The Raptors play their next three games at home, so maybe they can make up some ground before it’s too late.


12. Chicago Bulls (–)

Chicago Bulls logoRecord: 26-39
Games Back (10th): 4.0

Last Result: 106-94 L vs. PHI
Next Opponent: @ CHA on Thursday



Chicago is in the midst of its last long break of the season with three days between its first game of the week (Monday’s loss to the 76ers) and its next game. The Bulls visit the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday (7 ET, NBA League Pass) in a game with plenty of Play-In ramifications on the line for both teams. From that game forward, the Bulls have no more than two days off between games.


5. Dallas Mavericks (🔼)

Dallas Mavericks logoRecord: 37-28
Games Ahead (7th): 1.0
*Hold tiebreaker vs. POR
Games Back (5th): —
*Hold tiebreaker vs. LAL

Last Result: 127-113 W @ MIA
Next Opponent: vs. BKN on Thursday

With Hardaway Jr.’s franchise-trying 10 3-pointers leading the way, and a nice double-double from Luka Doncic, Dallas leaps over the Lakers for No. 5 in the West. The win clinched no worse than a Play-In berth for Dallas, which would have fallen to No. 7 with a loss.

6. Los Angeles Lakers (🔽)

Los Angeles Lakers logoRecord: 37-28
Games Ahead (7th): 1.0
*Holds tiebreaker vs. POR
Games Back (5th): —
*DAL holds tiebreaker

Last Result: 93-89 W vs. DEN
Next Opponent: vs. LAC on Thursday

The Lakers were idle, but got a bit of bad news for their Play-In and stretch-run hopes as LeBron James will reportedly miss the next two games because of his ankle injury. Who’s next up for the Lakers? Only the LA Clippers on Thursday (10 ET, TNT) — who are battling for playoff positioning — and the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday (10 ET, ESPN) — who are battling for Play-In Tournament seeding. No problem …



7. Portland Trail Blazers (–)

Portland Trail Blazers logoRecord: 36-29
Games Ahead (11th): 6.5
Games Back (6th): 1.0
*DAL, LAL hold tiebreakers

Last Result: 123-114 L @ ATL
Next Opponent: @ CLE on Wednesday

The Blazers had a day off Tuesday, but got a measure of good news while they sat idle. Their looming showdown with the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday (10 ET, ESPN) will take place with LeBron James sidelined due to an ankle injury. However, before Portland gets to that game, Wednesday’s contest in Cleveland (7:30 ET, NBA League Pass) awaits as the Blazers seek their fifth win in their last six games.


8. Golden State Warriors (–)

Golden State Warriors logoRecord: 33-33
Games Ahead (11th): 3.0
Games Back (6th): 4.5

Last Result: 108-103 L @ NOP
Next Opponent: vs. OKC on Thursday


Despite Steph Curry doing Steph Curry things (37 points, 8 3-pointers), the Warriors missed a chance to separate themselves a bit from the bottom seeds for the Play-In. But one big advantage for Golden State is that it plays its final six games at home.


9. Memphis Grizzlies (–)

Memphis Grizzlies logoRecord: 32-32
Games Ahead (11th): 3.0
Games Back (6th): 4.5

Last Result: 118-104 L vs. NYK
Next Opponent: @ MIN on Wednesday


A three-game road swing awaits the Grizzlies in their Play-In hopes starting on Wednesday in Minnesota (8 ET, NBA League Pass). After that come trips to Detroit (Thursday) and fellow Play-In hopeful Toronto (Saturday) before Memphis has a four-game home stand (May 10-14) that could play a large part in them rising (or making up ground) in the Play-In chase.


10. San Antonio Spurs (–)

San Antionio Spurs logoRecord: 31-33
Games Ahead (11th): 2.0
Games Back (6th): 5.5

Last Result: 110-99 L @ UTA
Next Opponent: @ UTA on Wednesday


The Spurs are seeking their first win against the Jazz since the restart as their last win against Utah came on Aug. 7, 2020. To stay in the Play-In chase, they’ll need to pull that off on Wednesday (9 ET, NBA TV) to both keep some space between themselves and the Pelicans as well as gain a little ground on Memphis, perhaps, too.



11. New Orleans Pelicans (–)

New Orleans Pelicans logoRecord: 30-36
Games Back (10th): 2.0

Last Result: 108-103 W vs. GSW
Next Opponent: @ PHI on Friday


Talk about a bounceback performance from Lonzo Ball. One night after going 3-for-18 in a loss to the Warriors, Ball dazzled, tying a career high with 33 points while hitting four clutch free throws in the final 25 seconds. That effort propelled New Orleans past Golden State and within two games of a Play-In spot. But one thing to keep an eye on is Brandon Ingram, who left in the third quarter with an ankle sprain.


12. Sacramento Kings (–)

Sacramento Kings logoRecord: 28-37
Games Back (10th): 4.5

Last Result: 103-99 W @ OKC
Next Opponent: @ IND on Wednesday



The Kings have won three straight and six of their last nine to remain in the hunt for a Play-In spot. But the quest to the postseason will be even tougher for Sacramento after announcing that rookie Tyrese Haliburton, who injured his knee Sunday, will likely miss the rest of the season.