NBA schedule 2014: Miami hosts the Knicks, Oklahoma City heads to Phoenix

Marc Serota

New York needs to come up big if it has any hope of unseating Atlanta for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

ABC has a double-header on a busy NBA Sunday, then NBATV gets into the action with a three-game set that includes a pair of potential Western Conference playoff matchups.

Brunch: Heat vs. Knicks

1 p.m. ET, ABC

No team has been less consistent than New York, as the Knicks possess both an eight-game winning streak and a nine-game losing streak on the season. Despite the Jekyll-and-Hyde routine, the 33-44 Knicks are just a single game behind Atlanta for the No. 8 seed in the East. Memphis and Phoenix have to be shaking their heads, battling for a playoff spot in the West despite each being 14 games above .500.

As for Miami, a late-season swoon by Indiana has LeBron James and Dwyane Wade back on top of the Eastern Conference standings. The Heat have won nine of their last 12, but come into this game reeling from an overtime loss to Minnesota on Friday.

Miami leads the season series 2-1, losing in Madison Square Garden to New York in January.

Second brunch: Clippers vs. Lakers

3:30 p.m. ET, ABC

When these teams last met, the Clippers dropped 142 points on their miserable Staples Center roommate. Not much has changed for the Lakers, who have lost five of their last six and are sinking to the bottom of the Western Conference. Jodie Meeks is carrying the offense for the purple and gold, something he has done for just one season since leaving high school.

On a more positive note, the Clippers are all but assured the No. 3 seed in the West. Chris Paul and company trail Oklahoma City by two games after a stretch that saw them win 17 of 20. The Clips are getting some NBA Finals buzz, with San Antonio and OKC needing to show they're at 100 percent entering the postseason.

Nightcap: Thunder vs. Suns

9 p.m. ET, NBATV

Because you don't need dinner when you have a 55-win juggernaut squaring off with a playoff hopeful in Phoenix. Oklahoma City hits the road, trying to fend of the better Los Angeles team and hang on to the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. The Thunder have won seven of nine, thanks to Kevin Durant's 34.5 scoring average in the month of March.

The Suns are in an absolute dogfight for a playoff spot in the West. Four teams could conceivably finish as the No. 6 seed or miss the postseason entirely. Only three of Golden State, Dallas, Memphis and Phoenix can make it at this point. Stupid Knicks.

Other Games

All time Eastern

Dallas Mavericks vs. Sacramento Kings, 6 p.m.

Atlanta Hawks vs. Indiana Pacers, 6 p.m. (NBATV)

Denver Nuggets vs. Houston Rockets, 7 p.m.

Memphis Grizzlies vs. San Antonio Spurs, 7 p.m. (NBATV)

Utah Jazz vs. Golden State Warriors, 9 p.m.

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Portland Trail Blazers, 9 p.m.

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