NBA playoff picture: Knicks beat Celtics to reclaim No. 2, Spurs give Thunder opening


The Knicks took back the No. 2 seed in the East thanks to their blowout win over the Celtics. Over in the West, the Spurs suffered a disappointing loss to a Heat team playing without LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

The New York Knicks destroyed the Boston Celtics for their eighth-straight win on Sunday and, in the process, reclaimed the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference from the Indiana Pacers. Both the Knicks and Pacers are 11½ games behind the Miami Heat, but New York is percentage points ahead of Indiana in the standings. The Celtics remain in the No. 7 spot.

Not much else changed in the East, other than the Chicago Bulls moving back into the No. 5 slot thanks to their hard-fought win over the Detroit Pistons. The Bulls and Hawks are 1½ games behind the Brooklyn Nets for the No. 4 seed, but it is Chicago who is percentage points ahead of Atlanta.

Over in the Western Conference, the San Antonio Spurs gave the Oklahoma City Thunder a bit of an opening by falling to the short-handed Heat. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers all sat out Sunday, but Chris Bosh's late three-pointer downed the Spurs, who were without Manu Ginobili. San Antonio is now 1½ games ahead of Oklahoma City at the top of the West, with a tough match-up against the Memphis Grizzlies staring them in the face on Monday.

Here are the full standings for each conference:

Eastern Standings

Miami Heat 73 58-15 .795
New York Knicks 72 46-26 .639
Indiana Pacers 74 47-27 .635
Brooklyn Nets 73 42-31 .575
Chicago Bulls 72 40-32 .556
Atlanta Hawks 74 41-33 .554
Boston Celtics 73 38-35 .521
Milwaukee Bucks 72 35-37 .486
Philadelphia 76ers 73 30-43 .411
Washington Wizards 73 27-46 .370
Toronto Raptors 73 27-46 .370
Detroit Pistons 74 24-50 .324
Cleveland Cavaliers 72 22-50 .306
Orlando Magic 74 19-55 .257
Charlotte Bobcats 73 17-56 .233

Western Standings

San Antonio Spurs 73 55-18 .753
Oklahoma City Thunder 74 54-20 .730
Denver Nuggets 74 50-24 .676
Los Angeles Clippers 74 49-25 .662
Memphis Grizzlies 73 49-24 .671
Golden State Warriors 74 42-32 .568
Houston Rockets 73 40-33 .548
Utah Jazz 74 38-36 .514
Los Angeles Lakers 74 38-36 .514
Dallas Mavericks 73 36-37 .493
Portland Trail Blazers 73 33-40 .452
Sacramento Kings 74 27-47 .365
Minnesota Timberwolves 72 26-46 .361
New Orleans Hornets 74 26-48 .351
Phoenix Suns 74 23-51 .311

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