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Kings lose to Suns 108-107, Play-In Tournament seeding still undecided

SACRAMENTO — The Sacramento Kings fell to the Phoenix Suns 108-107 at the Golden 1 Center on Friday night. It was a crucial loss with Play-In Tournament seeding not yet set heading into Sunday's regular season finale.

Sacramento and Phoenix played each other for the fifth time this season on Friday night. They had split the season series up until this last game, and a win would have given Sacramento a tie-breaker over Phoenix and a chance to host a Play-In Tournament game as a 7th seed.

The penultimate game of the season went down to the wire, with both teams tied at 107 with 51 seconds left in the game.

Domantas Sabonis has 25 points, 9 assists and 12 rebounds. De'Aaron Fox had 23 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds and 4 steals. Keegan Murray had 23 points while Harrison Barnes scored 12 points and grabbed 6 rebounds.

Play-In Tournament scenarios

With the top six seeds in each conference securing a playoff spot, the 7-10 seeds battle it out in the Play-In Tournament to determine who gets each conference's last two playoff spots.

First, each 7th seed hosts the 8th seed. The winner secures the 7th seed in the playoffs.

Then, the 9th seeds host the 10th seeds. The losers are eliminated from playoff contention while the winners go on to play whoever lost the first matchups in a final game to secure each conference's 8th seed.

Going into the final game of the regular season on Sunday, only three of the four teams in the Play-In Tournament for the Western Conference are locked in, and the seedings can change depending on how everyone's last game plays out. However, with Friday's loss to Phoenix, Sacramento is locked out of getting a 7th seed in the Play-In Tournament.

Currently, the 7-10 seeds are, in order, the Phoenix Suns (48-33), Los Angeles Lakers (46-35), Sacramento Kings (45-36) and Golden State Warriors (45-36). Phoenix is the only team that can still get a guaranteed playoff spot. They achieve that with a win and a New Orleans Pelicans loss on Sunday, which would give the Pelicans the final Play-In spot as the 7th seed.

Sunday's games will feature Sacramento playing Portland, the second-worst team in the West. Golden State plays Utah, who has been eliminated from playoff contention. Los Angeles plays New Orleans, who just beat Golden State on Friday. Lastly, Phoenix plays Minnesota, who is playing for the top seed in the West.

If Sacramento wins on Sunday, their Play-In Tournament seeding will be:

  • 8th with a Lakers loss, as Sacramento and L.A. will finish with the same record and the Kings won the season series. This would see Sacramento travel to Phoenix or New Orleans for the first Play-In game.
  • 9th with a Lakers win. This would see Sacramento host Golden State for a chance to move on to the final Play-In game.

If Sacramento loses on Sunday, the 8th seed will be out of reach. Their Play-In Tournament seeding will be:

  • 9th seed with a Golden State loss. This would see Sacramento host Golden State for a chance to move on to the final Play-In game.
  • 10th seed with a Golden State win. Golden State would then host Sacramento for a chance to move on to the final Play-In game.

When is the Play-In Tournament?

The first two games of the tournament are on Tuesday, April 16. The 7th seeds host the 8th seeds for the 7th playoff spot.

The second pair of games, with the 9th seeds hosting the 10th seeds, are Wednesday, April 17.

The third pair of games are set for Friday, April 19, and will see the losers of Tuesday's games playing the winners of Wednesday's games for the final playoff spot in each conference.

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