NBA playoff standings: Knicks pick up huge game in battle with Pacers, Sixers hang onto thread of life


The Knicks finally gained some breathing room in race with Pacers for No. 2 spot in the East.

The New York Knicks won their 11th-consecutive game on Friday when they beat the Milwaukee Bucks, 101-83, and were finally rewarded for their efforts when the Indiana Pacers dropped a game to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Pacers' loss snapped a five-game winning streak and let the Knicks open up a 1.5 game lead for the second spot in the East, which will determine home court advantage should the two teams meet in the second round of the playoffs. The race is hardly over, though, as the Knicks have seven games remaining in the regular season to the Pacers' six.

That includes a head-to-head matchup on April 4, which will be one of four remaining games against playoff opponents for the Knicks, who are back in action on Sunday against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Pacers play Saturday night at the Washington Wizards with three games remaining against current playoff teams in the East.

The full slate of playoff teams in the East is still not set after the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Atlanta Hawks to remain mathematically alive, sitting five games behind the Milwaukee Bucks with seven games to play. Philly's postseason hopes may not last long with three current playoff teams looming on the schedule starting on Saturday night at the Miami Heat.

Here is a look at the full Eastern Conference standings.

Eastern Standings

Miami Heat 75 59-16 .787
New York Knicks 75 49-26 .653
Indiana Pacers 76 48-28 .632
Brooklyn Nets 75 43-32 .573
Chicago Bulls 75 42-33 .560
Atlanta Hawks 77 42-35 .545
Boston Celtics 76 39-37 .513
Milwaukee Bucks 75 36-39 .480
Philadelphia 76ers 75 31-44 .413
Toronto Raptors 76 29-47 .382
Washington Wizards 75 28-47 .373
Detroit Pistons 76 25-51 .329
Cleveland Cavaliers 75 23-52 .307
Orlando Magic 77 19-58 .247
Charlotte Bobcats 76 18-58 .237

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