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NBA playoff picture: Nets take advantage of Celtics, Hawks losses

The Nets have gained a little breathing room in the No. 4 spot in the Eastern Conference thanks to their victory on Tuesday night coupled with losses by the Celtics and Hawks.


A Brooklyn Nets victory, coupled with losses by the Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks, helped create a little separation for the Nets in the middle of the Eastern Conference standings.

The Nets currently sit in the fourth spot in the East, two games ahead of the Chicago Bulls and now three games ahead of both the Celtics and Hawks. Brooklyn sits just two back of the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers, who are percentage points apart for the second and third seeds. The Nets will be the only East playoff team not in action on Wednesday night.

With the Boston and Atlanta losses, the Milwaukee Bucks had a chance on Tuesday to move within a half game of the seventh spot, but they fell to the Dallas Mavericks. So the Bucks remain 1½ games out.

And at the top, the Miami Heat extended their lead in the East to 9½ games by winning their 19th-straight game. Ho-hum.

Here are the full East standings:

Eastern Standings

Miami Heat 62 48-14 .774
New York Knicks 61 38-23 .623
Indiana Pacers 63 39-24 .619
Brooklyn Nets 65 38-27 .585
Chicago Bulls 63 35-28 .556
Boston Celtics 63 34-29 .540
Atlanta Hawks 63 34-29 .540
Milwaukee Bucks 62 32-30 .516
Toronto Raptors 64 25-39 .391
Philadelphia 76ers 63 24-39 .381
Detroit Pistons 66 23-43 .348
Cleveland Cavaliers 64 22-42 .344
Washington Wizards 62 20-42 .323
Orlando Magic 65 18-47 .277
Charlotte Bobcats 64 14-50 .219

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