Spurs Clinch Spot in 2021 NBA Play-in Tournament; Latest Western Conference Standings

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IIMay 14, 2021

San Antonio Spurs' DeMar DeRozan (10) during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

The San Antonio Spurs are headed to the postseason for the second time in three seasons. 

The Spurs clinched a play-in spot with a little help from the Sacramento Kings on Thursday, as the Kings were officially eliminated from contention by falling 116-110 to the Memphis Grizzlies. 

That secured the 10th and final play-in spot in the Western Conference for the Spurs, who are 33-37 with two games left to play. 

The Spurs also would have secured a tournament spot on Thursday if they had defeated the New York Knicks, but they lost 102-98. 

Here's a look at the current Western Conference playoff picture: 

1. Utah Jazz (50-20) - x

2. Phoenix Suns (48-21) - x

3. Los Angeles Clippers (47-23) - x

4. Denver Nuggets (45-24) - x

5. Portland Trail Blazers (41-29)

6. Dallas Mavericks (41-29)

7. Los Angeles Lakers (40-30)

8. Golden State Warriors (37-33) - pi

9. Memphis Grizzlies (37-33) - pi

10. San Antonio Spurs (33-37) - pi

Standings via NBA.com. Updated through 10:49 p.m. ET. 

- x denotes clinched playoff spot

- pi denotes clinched play-in tournament spot

The Spurs missed out on the postseason last year after going 32-39, marking just the second time in Gregg Popovich's run as head coach that they failed to reach the playoffs. But in 2020-21, they returned almost the entirety of that roster. 

DeMar DeRozan led the charge for the Spurs, entering Thursday night's game averaging 21.5 points and 7.0 assists through 59 games. Dejounte Murray was right behind him with 15.9 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.4 assists, with 1.5 steals per game (a figure that ranks 10th in the NBA). 

The Spurs will close out the season with a back-to-back at home against the Phoenix Suns on Saturday and Sunday. 

In addition to securing the play-in spot for San Antonio, Thursday's results also provide some clarity for some of the other teams in the Western Conference. 

The Warriors will host the Grizzlies on Sunday, and the winner will come away with the No. 8 seed in the play-in tournament, according to The Athletic's Anthony Slater. This is especially crucial, since the ninth and 10th seeds have to win two consecutive games to make it out of the tournament.