The New Orleans Pelicans and Phoenix Suns guaranteed postseason basketball Thursday thanks to the Golden State Warriors’ 133-110 win over the Houston Rockets.

The Dallas Mavericks also locked up a spot by defeating the Atlanta Hawks earlier Thursday. However, they, too, would’ve been safe courtesy of the Warriors’ victory.

New Orleans and Phoenix will compete in at least the play-in tournament this year, leaving just three postseason spots up for grabs in the West. Coincidentally, the Warriors and Rockets are two of the four remaining sides in the conference yet to clinch a play-in berth at minimum. The Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings require one more win, or another Rockets loss, to qualify.


West standings

1 Timberwolves* 53-23
2 Nuggets* 53-24 0.5
3 Thunder* 52-24 1
4 Clippers* 48-28 5
5 Mavericks* 46-30 7
6 Suns* 45-31 8

West play-in picture

7 Pelicans* 45-31 8
8 Kings 44-32 9
9 Lakers 44-33 9.5
10 Warriors 42-34 11
11 Rockets 38-38 15

The Warriors aren’t in the clear yet but drastically improved their odds with a sixth consecutive victory Thursday. They now have a four-game lead over the Rockets, with each side having just six games left to play.

To supplant any of the three play-in sides above them, Houston would have to win at least five of its last six games. That’d give it a chance to vault Golden State for 10th, but only if the Warriors drop at least five of their last six contests. The Warriors hold the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Rockets.

The East’s 10 teams have already been decided, with the Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks destined for the play-in tourney. The Boston Celtics are the only other squad to already know their fate after locking up the best record in the NBA on Wednesday.

Playoff seeding is still subject to plenty of change in both conferences due to the close proximity of several teams. For example, the Lakers or Warriors could still finish as high as fifth despite not having secured 10th yet.