With only four games (and three for some teams) to go in the NBA season, there is still a lot to be decided.
With 24 of the league’s 30 teams in action Wednesday night, we took another step towards figuring things out.
The Oklahoma City got one of the biggest wins of the night, holding off a late rally by the Los Angeles Clippers to earn a 107-101 victory. The win stretched the Thunder’s lead on the Clippers for the second seed in the Western Conference to 2.5 games (and three in the loss column).
With a 107-102 victory over the Heat, the Memphis Grizzlies remain just one game behind the Phoenix Suns, who defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 94-88, for the eighth seed and are within 1.5 games of the Dallas Mavericks for the seventh seed.
The Indiana Pacers sat all five starters, but still defeated the lowly Milwaukee Bucks 104-102. The win, coupled with the Heat’s loss, gives them a half-game lead over the Heat for the top seed in the Eastern Conference. The Pacers and Heat will meet Friday night in Miami.
It was a bad night for the New York Knicks as they watched the Atlanta Hawks rally from an eight-point deficit in the final minutes to hand the Boston Celtics their ninth straight loss and build a two-game lead on the Knicks for the eighth and final playoff spot in the east.
In a battle for the sixth seed, the Charlotte Bobcats held the Washington Wizards to one point in overtime and earned a 94-88 victory. It gives the two teams identical 40-38 records and the Bobcats hold the tie breaker, having won three of their four meetings this season. Of course, the sixth seed will avoid both the Heat and Pacers in the first round.
If the playoffs started to day, here are the matchups we would have:
Atlanta Hawks (8) vs. Indiana Pacers (1)
Brooklyn Nets (5) vs. Chicago Bulls (4)
Charlotte Bobcats (6) vs Toronto Raptors (3)
Washington Wizards (7) vs Miami Heat (2)
Phoenix Suns (8) vs. San Antonio Spurs (1)
Portland Trail Blazers (5) vs Houston Rockets (4)
Golden State Warriors (6) vs Los Angeles Clippers (3)
Dallas Mavericks (7) vs Oklahoma City Thunder (2)