Spurs clinch spot in NBA play-in tournament for second straight season

San Antonio can still move up to No. 9 seed, host first play-in game at AT&T Center

San Antonio Spurs guard Joshua Primo, left, hangs from the rim after a dunk next to Denver Nuggets guard Austin Rivers during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, April 5, 2022, in Denver. (David Zalubowski, AP Photo)

SAN ANTONIO – After their heartbreaking 112-111 loss to the Grizzlies on March 30, the Spurs found themselves in 11th in the NBA’s Western Conference standings with six games left in the regular season.

Six days later, San Antonio has won three straight games and clinched a spot in this year’s play-in tournament.

Thanks to a home sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday and Sunday and a stunning 116-97 upset of the No. 6 seed Denver Nuggets on the road on Tuesday night, all the Spurs needed to secure a second straight berth in the NBA play-in tournament was a Lakers loss to the Suns. Phoenix obliged, pounding Los Angeles 121-110 to knock the Lakers out of contention entirely. Lakers star LeBron James did not play against the Suns due to left ankle soreness. As a result, San Antonio will enter this year’s play-in tournament as either the No. 9 or No. 10 seed.

Last year, the Spurs qualified for the inaugural play-in tournament as the No. 10 seed, but fell to No. 9 Memphis 100-96.

For more information on how the play-in tournament functions, click here!

WESTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS

TeamRecordGames Back
9. New Orleans Pelicans35-44---
10. San Antonio Spurs34-451
----OUT OF PLAY-IN----------
11. Los Angeles Lakers (ELIMINATED)31-484

Even though they have clinched, the Spurs still have plenty to play for as the regular season comes to a close. San Antonio owns the tiebreaker over New Orleans because they won the regular season series 3 games to 1. If the two teams finish with the same overall record, the Spurs would finish ahead of the Pelicans in the standings and host the first play-in game at the AT&T Center. All San Antonio needs to do to accomplish this feat is win one more game than the Pelicans this week. If the standings remain as they currently are, the Spurs will travel to the Smoothie King Center for their play-in tournament matchup.

REMAINING SCHEDULE

SpursPelicans
at Minnesota - Thursday, April 7vs. Portland - Thursday, April 7
vs. Golden State - Saturday, April 9at Memphis - Saturday, April 9
at Dallas - Sunday, April 10vs. Golden State - Sunday, April 10

*Home games in bold


About the Author:

Andrew has covered athletics of all levels for more than five years and is dedicated to shining a spotlight on local San Antonio athletes and their stories.