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The 2020-21 NBA regular season is in the books, and the teams and seeds for the league’s first full-fledged play-in tournament have been set. Here are the matchups:

Eastern Conference

Tuesday, May 18

  • Game 1: Charlotte Hornets (10) at Indiana Pacers (9)
    • Winner plays Thursday; loser is eliminated.
  • Game 2: Washington Wizards (8) at Boston Celtics (7)
    • Winner secures No. 7 seed; loser plays Thursday.

Thursday, May 20

  • Winner of Game 1 at Loser of Game 2
    • Winner secures No. 8 seed; loser is eliminated.

Western Conference

Wednesday, May 19

  • Game 3: San Antonio Spurs (10) at Memphis Grizzlies (9)
    • Winner plays Friday; loser is eliminated.
  • Game 4: Golden State Warriors (8) at Los Angeles Lakers (7)
    • Winner secures No. 7 seed; loser plays Friday.

Friday, May 21

  • Winner of Game 3 at Loser of Game 4
    • Winner secures No. 8 seed; loser is eliminated.

This will technically be the NBA’s second play-in tournament, since the Trail Blazers had to beat the Grizzlies in a play-in game last summer to earn the No. 8 seed in the West.

However, the league revamped the format before the 2020-21 season to ensure that it includes both conferences and puts both the seventh and eighth seeds up for grabs. This will be the first play-in tournament using that new format.

Once the Nos. 7 and 8 seeds in each conference are set, the eight first-round matchups will be finalized. Here’s what those matchups look like so far:

Eastern Conference

  • Philadelphia 76ers (1) vs. No. 8 seed (play-in)
  • Brooklyn Nets (2) vs. No. 7 seed (play-in)
  • Milwaukee Bucks (3) vs. Miami Heat (6)
  • New York Knicks (4) vs. Atlanta Hawks (5)

Western Conference

  • Utah Jazz (1) vs. No. 8 seed (play-in)
  • Phoenix Suns (2) vs. No. 7 seed (play-in)
  • Denver Nuggets (3) vs. Portland Trail Blazers (6)
  • Los Angeles Clippers (4) vs. Dallas Mavericks (5)


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