NBA playoff picture: Thunder clinch No. 1 seed in West; Suns, Pacers secure final bid in each conference


The 2023-24 NBA regular season has come to an end, and we now know the six playoff teams in each conference, as well as the four teams vying in the play-in tournament for the final two seeds in the Eastern and Western Conferences.

The Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, Milwaukee Bucks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic and Indiana Pacers have secured the six playoff spots in the East.

The Oklahoma City Thunder, Minnesota Timberwolves, Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers, Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns will take part in the first round in the West.

In the East play-in tournament, the Philadelphia 76ers will face the Miami Heat, and the Chicago Bulls will take on the Atlanta Hawks. The West will see the Los Angeles Lakers face the New Orleans Pelicans, and the Sacramento Kings meet the Golden State Warriors.

The play-in tournament will take place Tuesday-Friday, and the first round of the 2024 NBA playoffs will begin Saturday.

Thunder win 3-way battle for West No. 1 seed

The matchups were finalized Sunday on the final day of the regular season with playoff positioning at stake across the board. The Thunder prevailed in a three-way race for the No. 1 seed in the West with a 135-86 blowout of a Mavericks team with nothing to play for, combined with a Timberwolves loss to Suns. The Nuggets secured the No. 2 seed, thanks to a win over the Memphis Grizzlies.

With its win over Minnesota, Phoenix moved up to the No. 6 seed and the final guaranteed playoff spot in the West. The Pelicans were in control of the No. 6 seed entering Sunday, but fell into the play-in with a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

In the East, the Knicks overtook the Milwaukee Bucks for the No. 2 seed with an overtime win over the Bulls. The Bucks fell to the No. 3 seed with a loss to the Magic, who secured the No. 5 seed. The Pacers blew out the Hawks, clinching the conference’s final guaranteed playoff spot, relegating the 76ers and Heat to the play-in.


1. Boston Celtics
2. New York Knicks
3. Milwaukee Bucks
4. Cleveland Cavaliers
5. Orlando Magic
6. Indiana Pacers

7. Philadelphia 76ers
8. Miami Heat
9. Chicago Bulls
10. Atlanta Hawks

Play-in schedule
Wednesday, April 17

No. 7 Philadelphia 76ers vs. No. 8 Miami Heat, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)

No. 9 Chicago Bulls vs. No. 10 Atlanta Hawks, 9:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Friday, April 19

76ers-Heat loser vs. Bulls-Hawks winner, Time TBD (ESPN)

First-round matchups

No. 1 Boston Celtics vs. No. 8 seed (Secondary play-in winner)

No. 2 New York Knicks vs. No. 7 seed (76ers-Heat winner)

No. 3 Milwaukee Bucks vs. No. 6 Indiana Pacers

No. 4 Cleveland Cavaliers vs. No. 5 Orlando Magic


1. Oklahoma City Thunder
2. Denver Nuggets
3. Minnesota Timberwolves
4. Los Angeles Clippers
5. Dallas Mavericks
6. Phoenix Suns

7. New Orleans Pelicans
8. Los Angeles Lakers
9. Sacramento Kings
10. Golden State Warriors

Play-in schedule

Tuesday, April 16

No. 7 New Orleans Pelicans vs. No. 8 Los Angeles Lakers, 7:30 p.m. ET (TNT)

No. 9 Sacramento Kings vs. No. 10 Golden State Warriors, 10 p.m. ET (TNT)

Friday, April 19

Pelicans-Lakers loser vs. Kings-Warriors winner, Time TBD (TNT)

First-round matchups

No. 1 Oklahoma City Thunder vs. No. 8 seed (secondary play-in winner)

No. 2 Denver Nuggets vs. No. 7 seed (Pelicans-Lakers winner)

No. 3 Minnesota Timberwolves vs. No. 6 Phoenix Suns

No. 4 Los Angeles Clippers vs. No. 5 Dallas Mavericks

2024 NBA Finals schedule

Thursday, June 6: Game 1
Sunday, June 9: Game 2
Wednesday, June 12: Game 3
Friday, June 14: Game 4
Monday, June 17: Game 5 (if necessary)
Thursday, June 20: Game 6 (if necessary)
Sunday, June 23: Game 7 (if necessary)

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