NBA playoff picture: Pacers fall further behind Knicks, Bucks clinch spot

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

A loss by Philadelphia along with a Milwaukee win Saturday helped the Bucks clinch a playoff spot in the East.

The Indiana Pacers (48-29) had a prime opportunity to gain ground on the New York Knicks (49-26) for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference Saturday, playing the lottery-bound Washington Wizards (29-47).

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Things didn't go as planned, however, as the Pacers sustained a double-digits loss and fell two games behind the Knicks with five to play. Whichever team earns the No. 2 seed will likely play the Boston Celtics (39-37) in the first round while the No. 3 seed will likely play the Atlanta Hawks (42-36).

The Milwaukee Bucks (37-39), who clinched at least the No. 8 seed with a win Saturday and a Philadelphia 76ers' loss, still have a small chance to move up. The Bucks trail the Celtics by two games and the Hawks by four games. Here are the complete Eastern Conference standings:

EASTERN CONFERENCE W L PCT GB HOME ROAD CONF DIV STREAK L10
1 z-Miami 60 16 0.789 - 33-4 27-12 35-11 13-1 W2 8-2
2 x-New York 49 26 0.653 10½ 28-10 21-16 33-13 10-6 W11 10-0
3 x-Indiana 48 29 0.623 12½ 29-9 19-20 30-17 12-3 L2 7-3
4 x-Brooklyn 44 32 0.579 16 23-15 21-17 31-15 9-4 W1 6-4
5 x-Chicago 42 33 0.560 17½ 22-16 20-17 31-14 9-6 W2 6-4
6 x-Atlanta 42 36 0.538 19 24-15 18-21 27-21 11-5 L3 4-6
7 x-Boston 39 37 0.513 21 26-12 13-25 25-21 7-7 L1 3-7
8 Milwaukee 37 39 0.487 23 21-19 16-20 24-24 7-9 W1 3-7
Philadelphia 31 45 0.408 29 22-17 9-28 19-27 7-8 L1 5-5
o-Washington 29 47 0.382 31 22-17 7-30 15-31 5-10 W1 6-4
o-Toronto 29 48 0.377 31½ 18-20 11-28 17-30 3-11 L1 3-7
o-Detroit 25 52 0.325 35½ 15-23 10-29 21-26 6-8 L2 2-8
o-Cleveland 23 52 0.307 36½ 13-24 10-28 17-28 3-11 W1 1-9
o-Orlando 19 58 0.247 41½ 11-27 8-31 9-38 3-12 L4 1-9
o-Charlotte 18 59 0.234 42½ 12-26 6-33 15-33 6-10 L2 3-7

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