Aug 6, 2020 - Sports

6 teams are vying for the last playoff spot in the NBA's Western Conference

A player shooting a ball.

The Suns have won all three seeding games, capped off by Devin Booker's game-winner Tuesday night. Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The race for eighth in the NBA's Western Conference is heating up, and with the playoffs just 11 days away, we're all but guaranteed to see the first-ever postseason play-in game.

How it works: A play-in game will only occur if the eighth and ninth seeds are within four games of each other when the regular season concludes.

  • If multiple teams are within four games, whichever team is closest to the eighth seed will get the chance to fight for their playoff lives.
  • The two teams in question will play a maximum of two times, with the No. 8 team only having to win one game, while the No. 9 team has to win two.

The state of play: The Grizzlies are currently in eighth place, but five teams are within three games of them, and it's clearly going to come down to the wire.

  • 8. Grizzlies (32-37)
  • 9. Trail Blazers (31-38, 1 game back)
  • 10. Spurs (29-38, 2 games back)
  • 11. Pelicans (29-38, 2 games back)
  • 12. Suns (29-39, 2.5 games back)
  • 13. Kings (28-39, 3 games back)

Today's key matchups: Pelicans vs. Kings (1:30pm ET); Pacers vs. Suns (4pm); Trail Blazers vs. Nuggets (8pm)

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