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Lakers, Warriors locked into play-in after Suns win

Ezra Shaw / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors will officially compete in the play-in tournament next week after the Phoenix Suns defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 124-108 on Wednesday night.

The Pacific Division teams can finish no higher than the seventh seed in the Western Conference - occupied by the Suns as of Wednesday night. The Lakers sit two games behind Phoenix, ranking ninth with a 45-35 record. Golden State ranks 10th in the conference with a 44-35 record. Both teams could still potentially reach the higher seventh or eighth seeds and host the play-in contests.

The Warriors have three games remaining in the regular season against the Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, and Utah Jazz. L.A. takes on the Memphis Grizzlies and Pelicans for its final two contests.

Both teams are familiar with the tournament, as they faced off against each other in 2021, with the Lakers beating the Warriors. L.A. was also in the play-in last season, qualifying as the No. 7 seed and eventually reaching the Western Conference finals.

The Warriors revamped their roster for this campaign after losing to the Lakers in the second round last season, exchanging guard Jordan Poole for the veteran Chris Paul in the offseason.

The top five seeds in the Western Conference have clinched postseason spots: The Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Oklahoma City Thunder, the Clippers, and Dallas Mavericks.

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