Here’s what’s at stake in seeding, standings, tiebreakers for Phoenix Suns, Western Conference

Apr 13, 2024, 1:02 PM

Royce O'Neale #00 and Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns celebrate defeating the Sacramento Kings ...

Royce O'Neale #00 and Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns celebrate defeating the Sacramento Kings 108-107 at Golden 1 Center on April 12, 2024 in Sacramento, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Suns picked up a massive 108-107 win over the Sacramento Kings on Friday to secure at least a seventh-place finish in the Western Conference standings. With no games across the league on Saturday, the NBA regular season wraps up on Sunday with plenty of tiebreakers and seeding scenarios still in play.

The Suns (48-33) will need a win on Sunday over the Minnesota Timberwolves and a Pelicans (49-32) loss against the Los Angeles Lakers to avoid the play-in tournament and end up with the sixth seed.

Having won two of three games against the Pelicans this season, the Suns own the season tiebreaker and would move ahead of New Orleans if the teams finish with identical records.

Here’s a look at the Western Conference playoff scenarios and how the final standings could shake out on Sunday.

NBA playoff seeding implications for the Suns and the tiebreakers in the Western Conference standings

If the Suns beat the Timberwolves on Sunday, and the Pelicans lose to the Lakers, the Suns will be locked into the sixth seed and will not appear in the play-in tournament.

If the Suns lose to the Timberwolves on Sunday, they will be locked into the seventh seed and will have to compete in the play-in tournament, however, the Suns have already secured homecourt for both play-in games if necessary.

If the Pelicans beat the Lakers, the Suns will be locked into seventh no matter the outcome of Phoenix’s game against Minnesota.

Since the 2020–21 season, the first to have a play-in tournament involving teams ranked seventh through 10th in each conference, No. 7 seeds have never failed to qualify for the playoffs. All six have advanced.

The Suns have never appeared in the play-in tournament, while the Pelicans lost to the Thunder in the play-in tournament last season as a No. 9 seed.

The Timberwolves enter Sunday’s matchup against the Suns with something to play for as well.

The Nuggets, Timberwolves and Thunder are all vying for the No. 1 seed. It is the first time in NBA history that three teams are entering the final day of the NBA regular season with identical records and are aiming to secure the No. 1 seed in the same conference.

The Timberwolves will clinch the No. 1 seed if the Thunder (who play at home against the Mavericks on Sunday) lose, or if the Nuggets (who play at Memphis on Sunday) lose.

If all three teams win or lose, the Thunder will secure the top seed.

In order for the Nuggets to land the top seed, they will need both Minnesota and Oklahoma City to lose.

The Los Angeles Clippers have already secured the No. 4 seed and the Dallas Mavericks have already locked up the No. 5 seed.

The Lakers also have something to play for, as they can still finish eighth and avoid the last two spots of the play-in tournament that require two wins to advance instead of one.

If the Lakers defeat the Pelicans, the Lakers will finish as the No. 8 seed.

The Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors, both own the tiebreakers over the Lakers, so a Lakers loss on Sunday could see them fall to the No. 10 seed.

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Here’s what’s at stake in seeding, standings, tiebreakers for Phoenix Suns, Western Conference