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Phoenix Suns clinch a spot in the NBA In-Season Tournament knockout round

Nov 21, 2023; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant (35) controls the ball against the Portland Trail Blazers during the second half at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns have officially advanced as a Wild Card team to the knockout round in the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament.

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After losing their first game of pool play against the Lakers, Phoenix picked up three straight wins, including W’s against the Utah Jazz, Portland Trail Blazers, and most recently, the Memphis Grizzlies.

By beating the Grizzlies by 21 points on November 24th, the Suns gave themselves a great chance to move on by winning the point differential battle.

It would have taken the Minnesota Timberwolves to win by more than 34 points in their final pool play game for Phoenix to not advance.

They won by only three points.

The Suns outscored their opponents by an average of 8.5 points per game, which allowed them to advance as the Wild Card team.

Along with getting a chance to play in front of a national audience, their trip to the knockout round has guaranteed at least $50k more in the pockets for each player on the Suns.

If they lose in the semifinals, they will each win $100k, then $200k if they lose in the finals, and $500k if they win the whole thing.

The quarterfinals for the knockout round will commence on December 4th. Since the Suns are the lowest seed, they will be playing the #1 seeded Los Angeles Lakers, who wrapped up pool play 4-0 with a +74 point differential.

The Suns are 0-2 against the Lakers this season; both matchups they lost in the second half collapsed.

While the quarterfinals will be played at the home team’s arena, the semi-finals and finals will then be played in Las Vegas at T-Mobile Arena.

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