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NBA playoff bracket 2020: Updated standings, seeds & results from each round

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NBA playoff bracket 2020: Updated standings, seeds & results from each round

The NBA season is typically a marathon run of games over several months, but the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has turned the 2019-20 campaign into a sprint toward the finish line.

The playoff fields in each conference are now set, and there should be plenty of drama as teams begin their postseason runs.

Can one of the West teams prevent a Clippers vs. Lakers showdown in the conference finals? Will anyone challenge Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks in the East? Those questions will soon be answered.

Let’s take a look at the 2020 NBA playoff picture, including the final standings and seedings.

NBA PLAYOFF PREDICTIONS:
Series-by-series breakdowns & NBA Finals picks

NBA playoff bracket

(Getty Images)

Here are the first-round matchups in each conference:

Eastern Conference

(1) Bucks vs. (8) Magic

(2) Raptors vs. (7) Nets

(3) Celtics vs. (6) 76ers

(4) Pacers vs. (5) Heat

Western Conference

(1) Lakers vs. (8) Trail Blazers

(2) Clippers vs. (7) Mavericks

(3) Nuggets vs. (6) Jazz

(4) Rockets vs. (5) Thunder

NBA standings

Here are the NBA standings based on games completed both during the 2019-20 regular season prior to the suspension of play and inside the league’s “bubble.”

Eastern Conference

Seed Team Record Games back
1. Bucks** 56-17
2. Raptors* 53-19 2.5
3. Celtics* 48-24 7.5
4. Pacers* 45-28 11
5. Heat* 44-29 12
6. 76ers* 43-30 13
7. Nets* 35-37 20.5
8. Magic* 33-40 23

*clinched playoff berth
**clinched conference
Eliminated: Bulls, Cavs, Hawks, Hornets, Knicks, Pistons, Wizards

Western Conference

Seed Team Record Games back
1. Lakers** 52-19
2. Clippers* 49-23 3.5
3. Nuggets* 46-27 7
4. Rockets* 44-28 8.5
5. Thunder* 44-28 8.5
6. Jazz* 44-28 8.5
7. Mavericks* 43-32 11
8. Trail Blazers*** 35-39 18.5
9. Grizzlies*** 34-39 19

*clinched playoff berth
**clinched conference
***clinched play-in berth
Eliminated: Kings, Pelicans, Spurs, Suns, Timberwolves, Warriors

When do the NBA playoffs start in 2020?

  • Play-in games: Aug. 15-16
  • NBA playoffs: Aug. 17
  • NBA conference finals: Sept. 15
  • NBA Finals: Sept. 30

“Seeding games” will be played through Aug. 14, and a play-in tournament will be held Aug. 15-16 with the first round of the playoffs starting Aug. 17. The NBA Finals will begin Sept. 30 and end no later than Oct. 13.

How do the NBA playoffs work?

The No. 9 Grizzlies finished within four games of the No. 8 Trail Blazers in the Western Conference standings, triggering a play-in tournament for the final playoff spot. The Trail Blazers defeated the Grizzlies in the play-in game to advance to the first round of the postseason. They will enter the bracket as the No. 8 seed and face the Lakers.

Beyond the play-in round, the 2020 NBA playoffs will follow the typical format with full best-of-seven series all the way through the NBA Finals.

NBA playoffs schedule, results

Eastern Conference second round results

(1) Bucks vs. (5) Heat

Date Game Time (ET) National TV
Aug. 31 Heat 115, Bucks 104 (Miami leads 1-0) 6:30 p.m. TNT
Sept. 2 Heat 116, Bucks 114 (Miami leads 2-0) 6:30 p.m. ESPN
Sept. 4 Heat 115, Bucks 100 (Miami leads 3-0) 6:30 p.m. TNT
Sept. 6 Game 4 3:30 p.m. ABC
Sept. 8 Game 5* 6:30 p.m. TNT
Sept. 10 Game 6* TBD ESPN
Sept. 12 Game 7* TBD TNT

*if necessary

(2) Raptors vs. (3) Celtics

Date Game Time (ET) National TV
Aug. 30 Celtics 112, Raptors 94 (Boston leads 1-0) 1 p.m. ESPN
Sept. 1 Celtics 102, Raptors 99 (Boston leads 2-0) 5:30 p.m. ESPN
Sept. 3 Raptors 104, Celtics 103 (Boston leads 2-1) 6:30 p.m. TNT
Sept. 5 Raptors 100, Celtics 93 (Series tied 2-2) 6:30 p.m. TNT
Sept. 7 Game 5 6:30 p.m. TNT
Sept. 9 Game 6 TBD ESPN
Sept. 11 Game 7* TBD TNT

*if necessary

Western Conference second round results

(1) Lakers vs. (4) Rockets

Date Game Time (ET) National TV
Sept. 4 Rockets 112, Lakers 97 (Houston leads 1-0) 9 p.m. ESPN
Sept. 6 Game 2 8:30 p.m. ABC
Sept. 8 Game 3 9 p.m. TNT
Sept. 10 Game 4 TBD TNT
Sept. 12 Game 5* TBD ESPN
Sept. 14 Game 6* TBD TNT
Sept. 16 Game 7* TBD TNT

*if necessary

(2) Clippers vs. (3) Nuggets

Date Game Time (ET) National TV
Sept. 3 Clippers 120, Nuggets 97 (Los Angeles leads 1-0) 9 p.m. TNT
Sept. 5 Nuggets 110, Clippers 100 (Series tied 1-1) 9 p.m. TNT
Sept. 7 Game 3 9 p.m. TNT
Sept. 9 Game 4 9 p.m. ESPN
Sept. 11 Game 5* TBD TNT
Sept. 13 Game 6* TBD ESPN
Sept. 15 Game 7* TBD ESPN

*if necessary

Eastern Conference first round results

(1) Bucks vs. (8) Magic: Milwaukee wins series, 4-1

  • Game 1: Magic 122, Bucks 110
  • Game 2: Bucks 111, Magic 96
  • Game 3: Bucks 121, Magic 107
  • Game 4: Bucks 121, Magic 106
  • Game 5: Bucks 118, Magic 104

(2) Raptors vs. (7) Nets: Toronto wins series, 4-0

  • Game 1: Raptors 134, Nets 110
  • Game 2: Raptors 104, Nets 99
  • Game 3: Raptors 117, Nets 92
  • Game 4: Raptors 150, Nets 122

(3) Celtics vs. (6) 76ers: Boston wins series, 4-0

  • Game 1: Celtics 109, 76ers 101
  • Game 2: Celtics 128, 76ers 101
  • Game 3: Celtics 102, 76ers 94
  • Game 4: Celtics 110, 76ers 106

(4) Pacers vs. (5) Heat: Miami wins series, 4-0

  • Game 1: Heat 113, Pacers 101
  • Game 2: Heat 109, Pacers 100
  • Game 3: Heat 124, Pacers 115
  • Game 4: Heat 99, Pacers 87

Western Conference first round results

(1) Lakers vs. (8) Trail Blazers: Los Angeles wins series, 4-1

  • Game 1: Trail Blazers 100, Lakers 93
  • Game 2: Lakers 111, Trail Blazers 88
  • Game 3: Lakers 116, Trail Blazers 108
  • Game 4: Lakers 135, Trail Blazers 115
  • Game 5: Lakers 131, Trail Blazers 122

(2) Clippers vs. (7) Mavericks: Los Angeles wins series, 4-2

  • Game 1: Clippers 118, Mavericks 110
  • Game 2: Mavericks 127, Clippers 114
  • Game 3: Clippers 130, Mavericks 122
  • Game 4: Mavericks 135, Clippers 133
  • Game 5: Clippers 154, Mavericks 111
  • Game 6: Clippers 111, Mavericks 97

(3) Nuggets vs. (6) Jazz: Denver wins series, 4-3

  • Game 1: Nuggets 135, Jazz 125
  • Game 2: Jazz 124, Nuggets 105
  • Game 3: Jazz 124, Nuggets 87
  • Game 4: Jazz 129, Nuggets 127
  • Game 5: Nuggets 117, Jazz 107
  • Game 6: Nuggets 119, Jazz 107
  • Game 7: Nuggets 80, Jazz 78

(4) Rockets vs. (5) Thunder: Houston wins series, 4-3

  • Game 1: Rockets 123, Thunder 108
  • Game 2: Rockets 111, Thunder 98
  • Game 3: Thunder 119, Rockets 107
  • Game 4: Thunder 117, Rockets 114
  • Game 5: Rockets 114, Thunder 80
  • Game 6: Thunder 104, Rockets 100
  • Game 7: Rockets 104, Thunder 102

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Mets, David Peterson beat Nationals to keep playoff hopes alive

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Mets, David Peterson beat Nationals to keep playoff hopes alive

WASHINGTON — David Peterson’s season is concluding just as it has reached a zenith.

The rookie pitcher didn’t even possess a roster spot when summer camp began, but became an integral piece of the Mets’ rotation out of necessity. Now the Mets have to love the potential gem they have unearthed.

Thursday night Peterson kept the Mets’ scant playoff hopes alive with his strongest start of the season in a 3-2 victory over the Nationals.

The Mets (26-31) are still mathematically alive for second place in the NL East, which carries a postseason berth, and also breathing, albeit barely, in the wild-card race. Their deficit on the Giants and Phillies for the final wild-card spot is two games with three remaining. The Brewers also sit ahead of the Mets. In the race for second place in the NL East, the Marlins began play Thursday night with a 2½-game lead on the Mets with the Phillies sitting in between.

Peterson (6-2) lasted seven innings — his longest career start — and allowed one earned run on four hits with one walk and four strikeouts. The left-hander lowered his ERA to 3.44, an oasis for a team whose back-end rotation options — Rick Porcello, Michael Wacha and Steven Matz — have all disappointed at various degrees.

Peterson was strong late into his start, escaping trouble in the sixth by retiring Kurt Suzuki and Yan Gomes in succession after Juan Soto had doubled with one out. In the seventh he allowed a leadoff single to Josh Harrison before getting three outs.

It was a second straight superb start for Peterson, who allowed only one run over six innings in a victory over the Braves last Saturday. The left-hander also reached double digits in strikeouts for the first time in his career with 10 in that game.

Robinson Chirinos, who entered batting .149, delivered his first homer of the season, a two-run shot in the fifth, that gave the Mets a 2-1 lead. Guillermo Heredia singled leading off the inning against Patrick Corbin before Chirinos cleared the fence in right-center.

In the sixth, Chirinos hit a grounder to the first-base hole — and beat Corbin to the bag — for an RBI single that extended the Mets’ lead to 3-1. Robinson Cano’s bunt single against the shift started the rally before Amed Rosario walked and Heredia’s fly ball to right advanced Cano to third.

David Peterson
David Peterson is seen pitching against the Nationals tonight.AP

Harrison’s RBI single in the fourth brought in the game’s first run. Soto walked leading off the inning to begin that rally.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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ESPN’s Mark Jones receives pushback on anti-police tweets

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ESPN's Mark Jones receives pushback on anti-police tweets

ESPN play-by-play announcer Mark Jones was called upon Thursday to reconcile his previous public support for police with his current distrust of officers.

Jones sent multiple anti-police tweets Wednesday after Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced a grand jury declined to indict three Louisville Metro officers in the shooting death last March of Breonna Taylor inside her apartment. One officer was charged with firing his weapon into an unoccupied adjacent apartment. Two Louisville officers were later shot during protest demonstrations.

Jones went so far as to say that he didn’t want his customary police detail when he calls the Army-Cincinnati football game Saturday. His reasoning? He fears for his safety around cops.

“I’m not signing my own death certificate,” Jones, who is Black, wrote.

It should be noted that spectators will not be allowed inside Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium for the game. Jones therefore won’t need an escort to get him through pregame or postgame congestion.

Jones also wrote that his uncle made history as an officer in Toronto and racism within that force was widespread. 

Jones broadcast NBA games for ESPN in the Orlando bubble and heard NBA players regularly speak about Taylor. He also saw players walk out of games to protest police brutality and racial injustice.

MORE: ESPN’s Jalen Rose shouts Breonna Taylor message before network goes to break

After Jones’ tweets went viral Thursday, people brought up posts he sent years ago thanking and supporting police who assisted him at stadiums. It was a “This you?” moment.

Jones parried by saying his colleagues, friends and even a stranger have been integral to his safety.

Jones also received backlash for two tweets he liked earlier in the week regarding 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa’s ACL tear. One of the tweets Jones liked appeared to mock Bosa’s support of President Donald Trump; the other appeared to mock Bosa’s standing for the national anthem.

ESPN has not commented on Jones’ social media activity.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Meaningless, misleading talk is invading sports broadcasts

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Meaningless, misleading talk is invading sports broadcasts

Ah, to sleep, perchance to miss it all.

During the first half of Sunday’s Niners-Jets game, a large graphic appeared to promote the halftime show that would include, “Steelers Host Winless Broncos.”

Winless Broncos? The Broncos were 0-1. Half the NFL’s teams were winless!

No matter, play-by-play man Brandon Gaudin dutifully parroted the “winless” graphic for our further enlightenment.

At the start of the Giants-Bears game, CBS scrolled a bunch of distracting stats giving both teams’ offensive and defensive percentages and ranks. The “when accumulated” went unaddressed, but if these were last season’s numbers they were irrelevant and if they were this season’s they were, off just one game, also irrelevant.

In the first quarter, CBS play-by-play man, Ian Eagle, perhaps stuck for something — anything — to say, said the Giants’ defense “has been in its nickel throughout.” The game was just over three minutes long.

It’s wall-to-wall. Late Sunday afternoon, the stat-headed host of the NFL’s gambling-centric Red Zone channel, Scott Hanson, stated that the Falcons, up 15 over the Cowboys midway through the fourth quarter, had a 98 percent win probability. That soon dipped to zero percent.

The USGA, over the weekend, did everything in its power to wreck its premier event, the U.S. Open. In repeated — as in dozens of times — frame splits that relegated live major golf on NBC to distant stick figures in indiscernible activities, three-fifths of the screen was devoted to commercials.

What made this particularly astonishing was that many of the commercials/promos seen in those dominant boxes were for the USGA! Don’t watch the USGA’s Open, watch repeated promos for the USGA!

And the commentary, especially that spoken by cliché-dependent NBC host Dan Hicks, was insulting. He repeatedly said that this was the first Open cut missed by Tiger Woods since 2006, citing his father’s death at the time for the reason.

But such a maudlin treatment was terribly misleading. Woods, golf’s most privileged, took an entire month off after his father passed — evidence, as per groveling TV announcers, that no one loved their father as much as Woods loved his.

How many of us are allowed such leave from work after the passing of a loved one? An itinerant pro, Jay Delsing, played in the Open and played in other events shortly after his father’s death in order to try to keep making a living — a story widely ignored.

Harris English
Harris English takes a swing at the U.S. Open.EPA

And the say-anything filler was enough to stuff a year’s supply of prison meat loafs. As contender Harris English prepared to play the 18th hole during Round 2, Gary Koch, who relies on vacant commentary, said, “It all starts with a tee shot.” To think he has the right to remain silent.

NBC’s Stanley Cup Finals “coverage” continues to beg both the impossible and senseless from viewers. Along the top it has scrolled the running time of players’ shifts on the ice. Who cares enough to cease watching the game to study for such needless info? And during the Stanley Cup Finals, no less!

And will someone at Fox, please — please! — at last tell or convince MLB analyst John Smoltz to take off a pitch or two. Whatever good stuff he has to add is lost after the first inning of his say-something sense of duty after every bloody pitch!

Sanctuary!

Losing? No worry, you can still pose

Never thought we’d see what we saw on ABC/ESPN during Saturday’s Navy-Tulane game. After a Navy defender sacked the QB, he rose and did an all-about-me skit that ended with a mime of him sinking a putt, as opposed to a battleship. The conspicuously immodest from a U.S. Naval Academy man!

At the time, Navy trailed, 17-0. Naturally, announcers Mark Jones and Dusty Dvoracek could muster not a word of discouragement.

The next day, Jets WR Chris Hogan caught a short pass then spun the ball on the ground before doing that hackneyed, self-aggrandizing downfield first-down signal.

At the time, the Jets trailed, 24-3.


Alex Rodriguez’s “Baseball Has Never Been More Fun To Watch” Games of the Week:

On Sept. 20, Howie Rose tweeted, “Last night’s [Mets] game started at 7:07. It wasn’t until 7:32 that the first ball was put into play, a two-run single by Robinson Cano. 25 minutes in – and Cano was the 8th batter. 4 BBs, 3K’s, plus a pickoff.

“Maybe I’m missing something, but is this what we really want? Hard to imagine it is.”

Doug Adler
Doug AlderGetty Images

Same with this: The Cardinals beat the Pirates 7-2 last Friday in the second game of a doubleheader. There were 21 strikeouts — in a 6 ½-inning game.

And with this: That same night, in 8 ½ innings, the Brewers used seven pitchers to beat the Royals, 9-5. And all, by new, feckless rule, six pitched to at least three batters.


Doug Adler, the longtime ESPN tennis analyst fired in 2017 as a racist after a New York Times freelancer and frightened ESPN execs determined that he had, out of the blue, called Venus Williams a “gorilla” — he was admiring her net-poaching “guerilla tactics” — returns to the air Sunday on Tennis Channel’s coverage of the French Open.

Adler, who had also been drummed out of French Open coverage after nine years following the preposterous accusation — and then suffered a stress-related heart attack — last worked the French in 2016.

It’s Saturday, let’s not play a ballgame

Uncle Rob Manfred’s claim to embrace kids as MLB’s top priority was on full display, last Saturday, as only one afternoon game was scheduled, and that was for Giants-Athletics, a 4:05 ET start for Fox.


Craig Carton’s remorse via that HBO documentary seems a matter of feeling sorry for himself as much as his family. He also came across as what he was pre-arrest: defiant, belligerent and narcissistic — an uncured ham.


Think Pete Alonso regrets all his LFGM!, I’m-the-man! second-season preseason bravado?


Reader Nathan Mayberg has a good question: When did “He’d like to have that pass back” become legitimate, in-game quarterback analysis?


Here’s hoping TBS doesn’t rush Curtis Granderson onto center stage before he’s ready. No one easier to root for than Granderson, a mensch. And thousands of kids have his autograph to prove it.


One of Vince McMahon’s most popular wrestlers, Road Warrior Animal (Joseph Laurinaitis), died this week at 60. That’s a long life by pro wrestling standards. His Road Warrior/Legion of Doom partner, Hawk (Michael Hegstrand) died of a heart attack in 2003 at 46. Not that WWE yahoo Peter Rosenberg of “The Michael Kay Show” cares.


Reader Steve Arendash: “While I’m watching the NFL on CBS, I’m told by CBS that I’m ‘watching the NFL on CBS.’ Next they’ll tell me that the postgame show follows the game.”

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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