How Thursday’s NBA results impact the playoff picture in the Eastern and Western Conference

Wednesday's slate featured six games that could have an impact on playoff seeding in both conferences.

With a logjam in the middle of the West and a tight battle at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, every win is so important with a week and a half left in the regular season.

Here's how Wednesday's games impacted the playoff picture:


Utah Jazz 124, Memphis Grizzlies 115

The Jazz used a 9-0 run to open up a double-digit lead late in the fourth which they rode to victory getting their 43rd win of the season.

Joe Ingles was sensational, finishing two points shy of his career-high with 25 points and five assists while shooting 54.5 percent from three. Former Grizzlies star Mike Conley added 23 points and seven assists in the win.

Memphis has yet to win a game in the bubble and with Jaren Jackson Jr. now out of the lineup for the season, their hold on the eighth seed in the West is in serious jeopardy.


What it means: With the win, the Jazz have done their best to keep in the mix for the third seed in the West. Memphis, however, allowed Portland to gain ground on them for the final available playoff spot. The Grizz have a tough remaining schedule with games coming up against the Thunder, Raptors, Celtics, and Bucks.

Philadelphia 76ers 107, Washington Wizards 98

The 76ers held off the Washington Wizards, but the biggest story is what happened to Ben Simmons.

MORE: Ben Simmons injury update

Simmons left the game in the third quarter and did not return with an apparent left knee injury. The injury appeared to be non-contact, but according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, there was no swelling or pain in the knee. Simmons is now day-to-day with the injury after undergoing an MRI, which came back clean.

What it means: The win allows Philly to stay within striking distance for the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference. They're now just a game behind the Pacers with each team having five games left on their schedule. The Wizards' loss puts them in jeopardy of being eliminated from playoff contention. If both the Magic and Nets win on Wednesday, the Wizards will officially be eliminated.


Denver Nuggets 132, San Antonio Spurs 126

Michael Porter Jr. has been worth the wait for Nuggets fans who hoped he'd be able to live up to his potential. Porter Jr. had another stellar game in the bubble finishing with a game-high 30 points, and 15 rebounds, shooting 55.6 percent from 3-point range in their comeback win over the Spurs.

Nikola Jokic added 25 points, 11 assists in the win. Porter Jr. and Jokic seem to be building solid chemistry together in the bubble so far, which can only mean good things once Denver welcomes Jamal Murray back to the lineup ahead of the playoffs.

What it means: Denver restores their 2.0 game lead over the Jazz for the third seed in the West. The Spurs' loss keeps them out of ninth in the West and drops them 2.0 games behind the eighth seed.


Oklahoma City Thunder 105, Los Angeles Lakers 86

All five Thunder starters, led by Chris Paul, scored in double figures and contributed 85 of the team's total points.

The 86 points are the fewest allowed by OKC to the Lakers since 2016, and is a season-low for the West's top-seeded team. Both the Lakers' All-Stars - LeBron James (19 points, 11 rebounds, four assists) and Anthony Davis (nine points, eight rebounds, five assists) had off shooting nights, combining to go 10-of-30 from the field.

What it means: With the win, the Thunder jump ahead of the Houston Rockets for the fifth seed in the West. They are, however, still a 0.5 game behind the Utah Jazz for the fourth seed. Prior to this game, the Lakers had already clinched the top seed in the West.


Toronto Raptors 109, Orlando Magic 99

The defending champions remain unbeaten in the season restart.

They improve to 3-0 in Orlando, after a 109-99 win against the Magic where six Raptors scored in double figures. Fred VanVleet was the top contributor with game-highs of 21 points and 10 assists.

For the Magic, who trailed by as many 24, All-Star Nikola Vucevic was their top contributor with 12 points, nine rebounds, three assists, and two steals.

What it means: The Raptors continue to make ground on the top-seed Milwaukee Bucks, who are yet to clinch the conference's no.1 seed and need just one win to do so. The defending champions are now 4.5 games behind after this win.


Boston Celtics 149, Brooklyn Nets 115

Suiting up without Kemba Walker, on the second night of a back-to-back, the Celtics went off for a season-high 149 points. As many as seven players scored in double figures, led by 21 from Jaylen Brown.

As a team, the Celtics shot 50-of-88 (56.8%) from the field and 20-of-39 (51.3%) from beyond the arc.

For the Nets, who struggled to knock down 3-pointers (8-of-32 3PT), Joe Harris was their top contributor with 14 points, six rebounds, two assists, and two steals.


What it means: With the win, the Celtics improve to 2-2 for the restart and, more importantly, create some separation with the Miami Heat for the third seed. They now hold a 1.5 game lead while trailing the Raptors by 4.5 games for the second seed. On the other hand, the loss means the Nets lead the Magic only by 0.5 of a game for the eighth seed in the East.

Current standings

Standings as of Aug. 6
Team W L GB Team W L GB
1 x - Milwaukee Bucks 54 14 - 1 x - Los Angeles Lakers 51 16 -
2 x - Toronto Raptors 49 18 4.5 2 x - LA Clippers 45 22 6
3 x - Boston Celtics 45 23 9 3 x - Denver Nuggets 45 23 6.5
4 x - Miami Heat 43 25 11 4 x - Utah Jazz 43 25 8.5
5 x - Indiana Pacers 42 26 12 5 x - Oklahoma City Thunder 42 25 9
6 x - Philadelphia 76ers 41 27 13 6 x - Houston Rockets 42 25 9
7 Brooklyn Nets 32 36 22 7 x - Dallas Mavericks 41 29 11.5
8 Orlando Magic 32 37 22.5 8 Memphis Grizzlies 32 37 20
9 Washington Wizards 24 44 30.0 9 Portland Trail Blazers 31 38 21
10 San Antonio Spurs 29 38 22
11 New Orleans Pelicans 29 38 22
12 Phoenix Suns 29 39 22.5
13 Sacramento Kings 28 39 23

x - Clinched Playoffs Berth

The views on this page do not reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.

More from

The ripple effect of KD's absence
Gilbert McGregor
Durant (knee) to miss 4-6 weeks
Nick Metallinos
Julius Randle, RJ Barrett (New York Knicks)
Barrett continues hot streak in Knicks win
Nick Metallinos
Russell Westbrook (Los Angeles Lakers)
Westbrook responds to Magic Johnson's criticism
Nick Metallinos
Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers)
Embiid continues unstoppable stretch
Yash Matange
Zach LaVine (Chicago Bulls)
LaVine (knee) not expected to miss significant time
Nick Metallinos
More News