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Lakers Warriors [1296x729] (Credit: (Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images))

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The NBA's play-in tournament is set to start at the conclusion of the regular season, adding another layer to this final stretch of games as teams try to position themselves for a potential postseason push.

Initially implemented during the 2020-21 NBA season, the play-in tournament expanded the NBA's postseason to 20 teams (10 from each conference). The top six teams from each conference automatically qualify for the playoffs, while the 7- through 10-seeds enter the play-in tournament for a chance to extend their seasons.

This season's play-in tournament race is tight, as teams try to avoid the play-in altogether while others are hoping for at least one more shot at a playoff spot.

In the West, Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors are being chased down by the Houston Rockets, who are only three games behind the Dubs for the final play-in spot. In the East, the Miami Heat have moved into the top six, with the Philadelphia 76ers and Indiana Pacers close behind.

Here's everything you need to know about the 2024 play-in tournament, including how it works, current standings and potential matchups.

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Current standings

The Bulls and Hawks have clinched a spot in the play-in tournament. They cannot finish higher than 7th or lower than 10th, regardless of what happens the rest of the season.

Through games of April 3.

Wednesday results Lakers 125, Wizards 120 Hawks 121, Pistons 113 Nets 115, Pacers 111 Magic 117, Pelicans 108 Suns 122, Cavaliers 101 Thursday's games to watch 76ers at Heat, 7:30 p.m. ET Kings at Knicks, 7:30 p.m. ET Hawks at Mavericks, 7:30 p.m. ET Warriors at Rockets, 8 p.m. ET Projected matchups

Here's a glance at how the 2024 play-in tournament would look if the season ended today.

Eastern Conference

No. 8 76ers at No. 7 Pacers No. 10 Hawks at No. 9 Bulls Winner 9/10 vs. loser 7/8

Western Conference

No. 8 Kings at No. 7 Pelicans No. 10 Warriors at No. 9 Lakers Winner 9/10 vs. loser 7/8 How does the NBA play-in tournament work?

There will be six total games involving eight teams as part of the play-in tournament, split up between the two conferences.

The teams that finish Nos. 1-6 in each conference will be guaranteed playoff spots, while team Nos. 7-10 in the standings will enter the play-in. Any team that finishes worse than No. 10 will be in the NBA draft lottery. 

Here's how the games will work:

Game 1s (Tuesday, April 16): Each conference's No. 7 team in the standings will host the No. 8 team, with the winner earning the No. 7 seed in the playoffs. The losing teams get another chance in Friday's Game 3s. Game 2s (Wednesday, April 17): Each conference's No. 9 team will host the No. 10 team, with the winner moving on to Game 3. The losers are eliminated and enter the NBA draft lottery. Game 3s (Friday, April 19): The losers of the No. 7 vs. No. 8 matchups will host the winners of the No. 9 vs. No. 10 matchups, with the victors grabbing each conference's No. 8 seed in the postseason. The losers of Game 3 enter the NBA draft lottery.

Under the format, teams with the seventh- and eighth-highest winning percentages will have two opportunities to win one game to earn a playoff spot, while the teams with the ninth- and 10th-highest winning percentages need to win two straight games to advance.