2022 NBA Play-In Tournament: Format, schedule, how to watch

Kevin Durant NBA Play-In Tournament
Apr 8, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) controls the ball against Cleveland Cavaliers guard Caris LeVert (3) during the second quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

With the 82-game regular season now wrapped up and in the rear-view mirror, just the 2022 NBA Play-In Tournament separates the league from its full-fledged postseason, which will begin on Saturday, April 16.

The play-in tournament deciphers the last two seeds in each conference, completing the full eight-game field in both the East and West with high stakes to spark the do-or-die drama early.

How does the NBA Play-In Tournament work?

Courtesy of NBA.com

The Play-In Tournament is a single-game elimination mini-tournament that features the No. 7-10 seeds (based on winning percentage) in both the Eastern and Western Conferences. The No. 7 seed hosts the No. 8 seed while the No. 9 seed hosts the No. 10 seed.

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Whichever team wins the matchup between Nos. 7 and 8 will immediately advance to the NBA Playoffs and assume the No. 7 seed where they will face the No. 2 seed in the first round.

Meanwhile, the loser of that play-in game will face the winner of the No. 9 vs. No. 10 game.

The winner of that game, then, cinches the No. 8 seed in the playoffs to face the No. 1 seed.

NBA Play-In Tournament schedule, games, TV

Date, Time (ET) Matchup Conference TV
Tuesday, April 12 (7 p.m.) No. 8 Cleveland Cavaliers vs. No. 7 Brooklyn Nets East TNT
Tuesday, April 12 (9:30 p.m.) No. 8 Los Angeles Clippers vs. No. 7 Minnesota Timberwolves West TNT
Wednesday, April 13 (7 p.m.) No. 10 Charlotte Hornets vs. No. 9 Atlanta Hawks East ESPN
Wednesday, April 13 (9:30 p.m.) No. 10 San Antonio Spurs vs. No. 9 New Orleans Pelicans West ESPN
Friday, April 15 (TBD) Game 3 winner vs. Game 1 loser East ESPN
Friday, April 15 (TBD) Game 4 winner vs. Game 2 loser West TNT

Information courtesy of NBA.com