It all comes down to the final seeding games in the West.
Which two teams will be playing this weekend in the play-in games and which team will be the No. 8 seed heading into Saturday's game?
We will know Thursday night.
Heading into the final day of seeding games, four teams are within a half-game of each other for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
8. Portland Trail Blazers | Remaining schedule: Brooklyn (Win Percentage: 0.465)
9. Memphis Grizzlies (0.5 games behind)| Remaining Schedule: Milwaukee (Win Percentage: 0.458)
10. Phoenix Suns (0.5 games behind)| Remaining schedule: Dallas (Win Percentage: 0.458)
11. San Antonio Spurs (0.5 games behind)| Remaining schedule: Utah (Win Percentage: 0.457)
Trail Blazers All-Star point guard Damian Lillard has put his team on his back with the Blazers eyeing the No. 8 seed. Portland has sole possession of the eighth spot following the Blazers’ 131-131 win over the Dallas Mavericks Tuesday in which Lillard dazzled.
The Blazers point guard finished with 61 points. He hit 17 of his 32 shots, went 9-of-17 from three-point range and made all 18 of his free throws.
And now it all comes down to Thursday’s battle of games in the Western Conference.
You can catch Thursday’s Blazers-Nets game on NBC Sports Northwest, the Official Network of the Portland Trail Blazers with tip-off set for 6:00pm. Our coverage starts at 4:30pm with ‘Blazers Game Day’ followed by ‘Blazers Warm-up’ at 5:00p.m. and ‘Blazers Pregame’ at 5:30pm.
Plus, to wrap up a Blazers Game Day, check out ‘Blazers Outsiders’ immediately following the 'Blazers Postgame Show.'
Plus, for full coverage of Portland’s eighth and final seeding game make sure to follow Dwight Jaynes, Jamie Hudson and our digital team throughout the day. Follow us on social for the latest updates.
[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast as special guest Bill Walton joins hosts Channing Frye and Dan Sheldon]:
The Nets have listed Chris Chiozza (right adductor; tightness) and Donta Hall (right ankle; sprain) as questionable, while Jamal Crawford (left hamstring; strain) is out for Thursday's game vs. the Blazers.
For the Blazers, Nassir Little (dehydration) is out for Thursday's game.
Quote of the Week:
Sources told NBC Sports Northwest prior to Tuesday's game against the Mavericks that McCollum has been playing with a L3 vertebral transverse process fracture (non-displaced) since last Thursday. In layman's terms, he has a fracture in his lower back. He has played three games since the injury.
Following Tuesday’s win, Damian Lillard discussed his confidence and appreciation for McCollum playing through pain when the Blazers need him as they make their final playoff push:
He’s a little bit banged up. He’s making no excuses or looking for no way out. He’s thuggin' it out for the team and being out there for us, and fortunate for us, him doing that meant he was out there for those last free throws and came through for us. -- Trail Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard on CJ McCollum
Top Game Notes:
- All-Time: Trail Blazers lead, 64-25
- Thursday's game will be the second of two meetings between the Trail Blazers and the Nets during the 2019-20 season. Brooklyn leads the season series, 1-0.
- Last Meeting: The Nets defeated the Trail Blazers in Portland on Nov. 8, 119-115. Damian Lillard scored what was then a franchise-record 60 points (19-33 FG, 7-16 3-PT, 15-15 FT) to go with four rebounds and five assists in the loss. Spencer Dinwiddie led the Nets with 34 points (12-27 FG, 4-8 3-PT, 5-5 FT), five rebounds, four assists and a steal in 35 minutes of the bench.
- Damian Lillard has scored at least 31 points in three of his last four games against the Nets. He has topped 30 points in six of his 15 career games against Brooklyn.
- In his last four games against the Nets, Jusuf Nurkic has averaged 27.3 points, 12.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.75 blocks.
- CJ McCollum was held to eight points (4-19 FG) and five rebounds in the Nov. 8 meeting. • Joe Harris scored 14 points (5-12 FG, 2-4 3-PT, 2-2 FT) to go with five rebounds, one assist and one block against Portland on Nov. 8.