Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson combined to score 70 points on Wednesday night as the Brooklyn Nets knocked off the Boston Celtics and moved three-and-a-half games ahead of the idle Bulls for the No. 4 spot in the Eastern Conference playoff bracket. With only five games left on Chicago's schedule, Brooklyn is a pretty safe bet to capture home court in the first round.
In any case, the Bulls have bigger problems right now. Aside from the Derrick Rose saga, Josh Smith and the Atlanta Hawks earned a win over the hapless Sixers on Wednesday to pull within percentage points of Chicago for the No. 5 spot. The Bulls own the head-to-head tiebreaker over Atlanta, so all they need to do is keep pace at this point.
The race at the bottom of the bracket isn't very interesting any more. The Celtics lost to the Nets, but the Bucks failed to gain any ground. Milwaukee lost to the Magic in overtime, so Boston still holds a three-game lead for the No. 7 seed.
|1||z - Miami||62||16||.795||-||Won 4||8-2|
|2||y - New York||51||26||.662||10 ½||Won 13||10-0|
|3||y - Indiana||49||29||.628||13||Won 1||7-3|
|4||x - Brooklyn||46||32||.590||16||Won 3||6-4|
|5||x - Chicago||42||35||.545||19 ½||Lost 2||6-4|
|6||x - Atlanta||43||36||.544||19 ½||Won 1||5-5|
|7||x - Boston||40||38||.513||22||Lost 1||4-6|
|8||x - Milwaukee||37||41||.474||25||Lost 2||3-7|
|Washington||29||50||.367||33 ½||Lost 3||4-6|
|Detroit||27||52||.342||35 ½||Won 2||4-6|
|Orlando||20||59||.253||42 ½||Won 1||2-8|