NBA playoffs: Blazers twice-to-beat vs Grizzlies in first-ever play-in round
The Portland Trail Blazers will battle the Memphis Grizzlies armed with a twice to beat advantage in the first-ever play-in round of the NBA playoffs following the conclusion of the regular season Thursday.
The Blazers outlasted the Brooklyn Nets, 134-133 behind 42 points from star Damian Lillard, one of the best-performing players in the bubble seeding games.
Portland is now in the 8th spot in the Western Conference following the win, and they will just have to beat Memphis once to advance officially to the playoffs against the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Grizzlies, on the other hand, upset the league-leading Milwaukee Bucks, 119-106 to earn the 9th spot in the west.
The Phoenix Suns, which had a remarkable 8-0 unbeaten run in the bubble, were tied with the Grizzlies after beating the Dallas Mavericks, 128-102 but bowed out due to the tiebreaker against Memphis.
The San Antonio Spurs, the last team which had a chance to extend their season, were also eliminated after losing to the Utah Jazz.
The Blazers and Grizzlies will face off starting Saturday. If the Grizzlies manage to win, there will be a sudden-death game the next day to determine who takes the last playoff spot.