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2022 NBA playoffs clinching scenarios for Thursday, April 7

Here’s what teams can do to secure a playoff or play-in spot in the 2022 postseason.

San Antonio Spurs v Denver Nuggets
Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets dribbles the ball during the game against the San Antonio Spurs on April 5, 2022 at the Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado.
Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

11:27 p.m. update — The Nuggets have defeated the Grizzlies to clinch a playoff spot in the West. This means the Timberwolves will face the Clippers in the 7-8 play-in game. All the play-in teams have been determined for both conferences, which means the playoff teams are also set. Seeds can change but we’re down to the final 20.


10:00 p.m. update — The 76ers and Celtics both lost, which means the Heat are the No. 1 seed in the East. They will likely rest some key players Friday and Sunday with the top seed already locked up.

The Timberwolves hold a lead over the Spurs going into the final frame, while the Nuggets also hold a lead over the Grizzlies. If these results stay as expected, the Timberwolves would be in play-in tournament and the Nuggets would clinch a playoff spot.


The 2022 NBA playoffs are nearly here and teams are jockeying for position in both conferences. The East field, along with the play-in bracket, is set with only seedings up for grabs. The same thing is true for the West, although there is less fluidity in the seedings. The Phoenix Suns and Memphis Grizzlies have secured the top two seeds in the West and there is only a two-team race for the final playoff spot. Teams 3-6 can move around a bit, but we’ve got a general idea of how the bracket will look.

Here’s a look at what teams can do to clinch a playoff or play-in spot in Thursday’s games.

Miami Heat - can clinch top seed in East with losses by Celtics and 76ers

Denver Nuggets - can clinch playoff spot with win or Timberwolves loss

Minnesota Timberwolves - locked into play-in spot with loss or Nuggets win