NBA playoff tracker: So much for Clippers-Lakers in the opening round

·3-min read

Yahoo Sports will keep you updated nightly on the NBA playoff race during the last two weeks of the regular season. Check back daily for the latest movement in the standings, what to watch for and teams securing their 2020-21 playoff berths.

Friday's standings

Eastern Conference

1. Philadelphia 76ers (48-23)

2. Brooklyn Nets (46-24, 1.5 GB)

3. Milwaukee Bucks (45-25, 2.5 GB)

4. Atlanta Hawks (40-31, 8 GB)

5. Miami Heat (39-31, 8.5 GB)

6. New York Knicks (39-31, 8.5 GB)

Play-in tournament

7. Boston Celtics (35-35, 12.5 GB)

8. Charlotte Hornets (33-37, 14.5 GB)

9. Indiana Pacers (33-37, 14.5 GB)

10. Washington Wizards (33-38, 15 GB)

Western Conference

1. Utah Jazz (51-20)

2. Phoenix Suns (49-21, 1.5 GB)

3. Denver Nuggets (47-24, 4 GB)

4. Los Angeles Clippers (47-24, 4 GB)

5. Dallas Mavericks (42-29, 9 GB)

6. Portland Trail Blazers (41-30, 10 GB)

Play-in tournament

7. Los Angeles Lakers (40-30, 10.5 GB)

8. Golden State Warriors (38-33, 13 GB)

9. Memphis Grizzlies (38-33, 13 GB)

10. San Antonio Spurs (33-37, 17.5 GB)

Game of the night: How did the Clippers lose to the Rockets?

Rajon Rondo #4 of the LA Clippers drives on Armoni Brooks #7 of the Houston Rockets and Kelly Olynyk #41 during the second quarter at Toyota Center on May 14, 2021 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
The Clippers lost to the Rockets on Friday night. (Bob Levey/Getty Images)

The Houston Rockets winning the last weekend of the regular season wouldn't normally be relevant, but this outcome has a direct impact on the playoff path for the Los Angeles Clippers: 

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Even if they land in the play-in tournament, you know Lakers fans are going to eat this news up. It was just the second Rockets win in their last 14 games. Here was tonight's starting lineup for the Clippers: Luke Kennard, Jay Scrubb, Rajon Rondo, Marcus Morris Sr., Ivica Zubac. 

Bravo, Clippers. 

Performance of the night: Jordan Poole and Mychal Mulder

Jordan Poole #3 of the Golden State Warriors dribbles the ball down court during the second quarter of an NBA game against the New Orleans Pelicans at Smoothie King Center on May 04, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Jordan Poole scored a career-high 38 points on Friday. (Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

With Steph Curry resting for Sunday's game against Memphis to decide the eighth and ninth seed, two young backup guards had a chance to shine in Jordan Poole and Mychal Mulder. Poole scored a career-high 38 points and the go-ahead layup with 21.4 seconds in Golden State's 125-122 win over New Orleans. Early in the third quarter, Poole went back to the locker room after injuring his ankle. The injury didn't keep him out of the game as he returned later in the quarter and was clutch for the Warriors down the stretch.

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Mulder also had a career-high 28 points including seven 3-pointers. With Klay Thompson returning next season, the Warriors could have solid guard depth in 2021-22.  

What to watch Saturday

Miami vs. Milwaukee (8 p.m. ET)

Khris Middleton #22 of the Milwaukee Bucks is defended by Bam Adebayo #13 of the Miami Heat during the second quarter at American Airlines Arena on December 30, 2020 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Miami and Milwaukee could meet in the first round of the NBA playoffs. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

We could get a playoff preview on Saturday night as a Heat-Bucks series is still in play for the first round. Milwaukee has an outside shot at the second seed but would need some help from a Brooklyn team that ends with home games against Chicago and Cleveland this weekend. While Miami is the fifth seed as of Friday night, they have the same record as the New York Knicks with a harder final two games:

Heat:

5/15: @ Milwaukee

5/16: @ Detroit

Knicks:

5/15: vs. Chicago

5/16 vs. Cleveland 

One last thing

Showing some love to the start of the WNBA season: Welcome back, Sabrina. 

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