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Warriors, Kings' play-in game opponents if NBA season ended today

Warriors, Kings' play-in game opponents if NBA season ended today originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

With the Warriors and Kings both officially locked into NBA Play-In Tournament games to begin the postseason, it's time to look ahead.

Golden State lost its chance at an outright playoff berth when the Phoenix Suns defeated the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday, putting the Western Conference's No. 6 seed out of the Warriors' reach for good. Sacramento, meanwhile, sealed its own play-in fate with a 135-123 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday at Golden 1 Center.

As of Thursday night, the Kings (45-35) are the No. 8 seed in the West, and the Warriors (45-35) jumped from No. 10 to No. 9 after a 110-92 win over the Trail Blazers in Portland.

If the season ended now, here's how the West's play-in bracket would look, via NBA.com:

The Kings would face the No. 7-seeded Suns (47-33), with whom Sacramento so far has tied the season series at two games apiece, in the first play-in game. That season-series deadlock will be broken Friday night, though, when the teams meet at Golden 1 Center.

The Warriors, meanwhile, would be in for an epic clash with LeBron James and the No. 10 Los Angeles Lakers. Golden State owns the season series against LA three games to one.

From there, the Kings would face the Warriors-Lakers winner if they lose to the Suns, then play the Denver Nuggets in the an NBA first-round playoff series if they win that second game. Or Sacramento would move on to face the No. 2 Minnesota Timberwolves if it beat Phoenix in the play-in.

Should the Warriors lose their play-in game, they'd be eliminated. And if they win, they'd face either the Kings or Suns before potentially playing the defending NBA champions in the opening playoff round.

A lot can happen between then and now, but with just two regular-season games remaining for both teams, Warriors and Kings fans have a pretty good idea of how the postseason's start might look.

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