NBA Playoffs 2024: Before Game 1s, pair of Game 7-type battles
NBA

NBA Playoffs 2024: Before Game 1s, pair of Game 7-type matchups

/ 01:21 PM April 19, 2024

 Duncan Robinson Miami Heat NBA Coby White Chicago Bulls NBA Playoffs 2024

FILE–Duncan Robinson of the Miami Heat drives to the basket while being defended by Coby White #0 of the Chicago Bulls in the first half of an NBA games on November 18, 2023 at United Center in Chicago, Illinois. Jamie Sabau/Getty Images/AFP

The Boston Celtics and Oklahoma City Thunder are about to find out who they will face in Round 1 of the NBA playoffs.

The final two play-in games — and final two berths in the playoffs — will be decided Friday night, when Chicago visits Miami in an Eastern Conference matchup and Sacramento goes to New Orleans in a Western Conference matchup.

Winners move on, losers are done.

FEATURED STORIES

READ: NBA Playoffs: The play-in arrives and drama awaits

The play-in tournament started Tuesday with Sacramento eliminating Golden State and the Los Angeles Lakers topping New Orleans, earning the Lakers the No. 7 seed in the West and a matchup with Denver in Round 1.

On Wednesday, Philadelphia beat Miami to become No. 7 in the East (and a matchup with New York in Round 1), while Chicago eliminated Atlanta.

US NATIONAL TV SCHEDULE

Friday

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7 p.m. Eastern — Chicago at Miami, ESPN

9:30 p.m. Eastern — Sacramento at New Orleans, TNT

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Saturday

1 p.m. Eastern — Orlando at Cleveland, ESPN

3:30 p.m. — Phoenix at Minnesota, ESPN

6 p.m. — Philadelphia at New York, ESPN

8:30 p.m. — Los Angeles Lakers at Denver, ABC

Sunday

1 p.m. — Chicago or Miami at Boston, ABC

3:30 p.m. — Dallas at Los Angeles Clippers, ABC

7 p.m. — Indiana at Milwaukee, TNT

9:30 p.m. — Sacramento or New Orleans at Oklahoma City, TNT

WHO’S IN/WHO’S OUT

Eastern Conference

No. 1 Boston vs. Chicago or Miami, series starting Sunday

No. 2 New York vs. No. 7 Philadelphia, series starting Saturday

No. 3 Milwaukee vs. No. 6 Indiana, series starting Sunday

No. 4 Cleveland vs. No. 5 Orlando, series starting Saturday

Western Conference

No. 1 Oklahoma City vs. Sacramento or New Orleans, series starting Sunday

No. 2 Denver vs. No. 7 Los Angeles Lakers, series starting Saturday

No. 3 Minnesota vs. No. 6 Phoenix, series starting Saturday

No. 4 Los Angeles Clippers vs. No. 5 Dallas, series starting Sunday

Brooklyn, Toronto, Charlotte, Washington, Detroit, Houston, Utah, Memphis, Portland and San Antonio all saw their seasons end Sunday. Golden State was eliminated Tuesday and Atlanta was eliminated Wednesday.

BETTING GUIDE

Boston has home-court advantage throughout the NBA playoffs and currently is the favorite to win the championship, according to BetMGM. The Celtics are listed at +180, ahead of defending champion Denver (+300). Next up: the Clippers (+1300), followed by Milwaukee and Philadelphia (both +1400), and Oklahoma City and Dallas (both +1600).

STAT OF THE DAY

With Atlanta losing at Chicago on Wednesday, the Lakers now have the best all-time record in play-in games at 3-0. The Hawks are 3-1.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY

“He did all right. He can do a little bit better.” — A clearly joking-around DeMar DeRozan, after his Chicago teammate Coby White scored 42 points to lead the Bulls past Atlanta on Wednesday.

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