Pelicans Can Clinch 6th Seed Sunday, Finished With Franchise-Best Road Record

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New Orleans Pelicans Can Clinch 6th Seed in Western Conference Sunday against Lakers, Finish With Franchise-Best Road Record

The New Orleans Pelicans (49-32) can clinch the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference on Sunday with a win over the Los Angeles Lakers (46-35) or a loss by the Phoenix Suns (48-33) at the Minnesota Timberwolves (56-25).

New Orleans currently ranks sixth in the West standings. The top six teams in each conference will secure playoff spots. Teams that finish seventh through 10th in each conference must participate in the play-in tournament next week to determine the No. 7 and No. 8 seeds.

Referring to a couple of NBA betting sites, the Boston Celtics (62-16) remain the front-runners to win the championship. Sportsbooks are still showing great odds for the Denver Nuggets (56-25), Los Angeles Clippers (51-30), and Milwaukee Bucks (47-31).

Furthermore, the Pelicans also finished the 2023-24 season with a franchise-best road record of 28-14. Twenty-eight wins are the most road victories in New Orleans’ 22-year history and the most by a team this season.

In New Orleans’ 114-109 victory over the Golden State Warriors (45-36) on Friday night, CJ McCollum scored 28 points on 10-of-21 (47.6%) shooting from the field and eight 3s, including a clutch 3-pointer with 1:03 remaining to help seal it.

Zion Williamson had 26 points and a career-high-tying six steals.

New Orleans Pelicans can clinch No. 6 seed in Western Conference with a win against Los Angeles Lakers

“You’ve got to take care of what you can take care of, prepare for another tough game in a tough environment at the crib and try and get one before the playoffs start,” McCollum said when asked about playoff seeding.

Over his last four games, McCollum has made 29 3-pointers and is shooting 61.7% from beyond the arc. Only Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard, and James Harden have hit more 3s over a four-game span in NBA history.

Speaking of 3-pointers, McCollum set a new Pelicans’ franchise record for 3s in a single season with 235 in 65 games. Peja Stojakovic set the previous mark with 231 3s made in 77 games played of 2007-08.

The 2024 NBA Play-In Tournament runs from Tuesday, April 16 through Friday, April 19. The 2024 NBA Playoffs begin Saturday, April 20. Game 1 of the 2024 NBA Finals begins Thursday, June 6.