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After a chaotic Friday night where the Denver Nuggets lost in the closing seconds to the San Antonio Spurs and the Timberwolves and Oklahoma City Thunder both won, all three teams are tied atop the Western Conference with one game left in the regular season.

Who wins the West?

It will be determined Sunday. Denver plays at Memphis, which will miss the playoffs; Oklahoma City plays host to a Dallas team that has nothing to play for and will rest stars Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic; and the Wolves play host to a Phoenix team that remains in mathematical contention for the No. 6 seed, meaning the Suns could avoid the play-in tournament.

If all three teams win (or lose) on Sunday, the Thunder will finish first in the Western Conference based on having the best winning percentage in all games among the tied teams. The Thunder went 5-3 vs. the Nuggets and Wolves, while the Wolves went 4-4 vs. the Thunder and Nuggets, and the Nuggets went 3-5 vs. the Wolves and Thunder.

In that instance, the Wolves would be the No. 2 seed in the West and the Nuggets No. 3 based on their record in division games where the Wolves are 12-4 and the Nuggets are 10-6.

In a two-way tie, the Wolves win the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Thunder or Nuggets, while the Thunder win the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Nuggets.

So if the Wolves win and the Nuggets or Thunder lose, the Wolves finish first in the West.

If the Wolves lose and either the Thunder or Nuggets lose, the Wolves are second.

If the Wolves lose and the Thunder and Nuggets both win, the Wolves are third. In this scenario, the Wolves would know their playoff opponent right away — it would be either New Orleans or Phoenix, depending on Sunday's results.

Playoff explainer

The Wolves are going to the playoffs for the third consecutive season, but for the first time in that span, they will not have to emerge from the play-in tournament to reach the actual playoffs.

The 10 teams making the postseason in the Western Conference have been decided but seeds are still shaking out from the top to bottom. The top six get automatic entry. Teams 7-10 enter the play-in tournament with two teams emerging as the No. 7 and No. 8 seed.

The regular season ends Sunday. The play-in tournament runs from Tuesday to Friday, and the Wolves would have their first playoff game next Saturday or Sunday.

The play-in works this way: The seventh- and eighth-place teams in each conference play one game, with the winner getting the No. 7 seed. The ninth and 10th-place teams in each conference play one game, with the loser eliminated and the winner playing one game against the loser of the other play-in game for the No. 8 seed.

Here's where things stand and how seeding might shake out for the Wolves:

Western Conference standings

The race for No. 1

Oklahoma City: 56-25

Timberwolves: 56-25

Denver: 56-25

Rest of the pack

L.A. Clippers: 51-30 (locked into No. 4 seed)

Dallas: 50-31 (locked into No. 5 seed)

New Orleans: 49-32 (needs to finish ahead of Phoenix to avoid play-in tournament)

Current play-in teams

Phoenix: 48-33 (can avoid play-in with a victory Sunday and a Pelicans loss)

L.A. Lakers: 46-35

Sacramento: 45-36

Golden State: 45-36

Full NBA standings

Playoff scenarios

If the Wolves finish either first or second in the Western Conference, they will face one of the two teams that win the play-in tournament. If they finish third, they will face the No. 6 overall seed.

Remaining schedule


Friday: Wolves 109, Atlanta 106

Sunday: vs. Phoenix, 2:30 p.m.


Friday: San Antonio 121, Denver 120

Sunday: at Memphis, 2:30 p.m.


Friday: Oklahoma City 125, Milwaukee 107

Sunday: vs. Dallas, 2:30 p.m.