NBA playoff picture: Pacers need 1 win to clinch No. 3, Bulls and Hawks locked in battle

USA TODAY Sports

The Pacers' magic number to clinch the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference is just one. Meanwhile, the Hawks hold a one-game lead over the Bulls for the No. 5 seed.

Now that the New York Knicks have locked up the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, the Indiana Pacers will try and stave off the Brooklyn Nets for the No. 3 seed. The Pacers need just one win or one Nets loss to clinch that No. 3 seed.

Brooklyn had a chance to make things really interesting on Sunday after Indiana lost to New York at Madison Square Garden. But instead of pulling to within one game of the No. 3 seed, the Nets disappointingly fell to the Toronto Raptors.

With the Nets likely finishing with the No. 4 seed, the Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls are duking it out for the right to travel to Brooklyn to open first round. The Hawks currently hold a one-game lead over the Bulls after Chicago fell to the Miami Heat on Sunday.

The Hawks finish with the Raptors and Knicks, while the Bulls have games against the Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards. Chicago holds the tiebreaker against Atlanta.

The rest of the East playoff picture is locked in. Here are the standings:


Eastern Standings

GP W-L PCT
Miami Heat 80 64-16 .800
New York Knicks 80 53-27 .663
Indiana Pacers 80 49-31 .613
Brooklyn Nets 80 47-33 .588
Atlanta Hawks 80 44-36 .550
Chicago Bulls 80 43-37 .538
Boston Celtics 80 41-39 .513
Milwaukee Bucks 80 37-43 .463
Philadelphia 76ers 80 33-47 .413
Toronto Raptors 80 32-48 .400
Washington Wizards 80 29-51 .363
Detroit Pistons 80 28-52 .350
Cleveland Cavaliers 80 24-56 .300
Orlando Magic 80 20-60 .250
Charlotte Bobcats 80 19-61 .238

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