The NBA regular season may be winding down, but the postseason race is heating up. From now until the playoffs tip, we'll start taking a closer look at the daily action in the Eastern Conference. More specifically, teams the Washington Wizards are battling for playoff seeding. Check back daily for updates, news and notes pertaining to the Wizards' playoff push...
First Quarter: The Wizards' magic number for the postseason remains one thanks to the New York Knicks' 89-84 win at the Golden State Warriors on Sunday night. The Knicks tried their best to help by scoring only 33 points in the second half, but they also made all six of their free throws in the final 2:06 for the victory. Washington can make it official with a win at the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday night or a Knicks loss at the Utah Jazz.
What you may have missed from last night in the Association:
*Pacers 76 Cavaliers 90: Remember earlier this season - or five days ago - when Indiana was, you know, good? The Pacers offense certainly isn't well right now, having scored fewer than 80 points in four off their last five games.
*Timberwolves 99 Nets 114: That's 13 straight home wins for Brooklyn, matching this season's league-high.
*Raptors 98 Magic 93: Toronto blew all of a 21-point lead and then won anyway. DeMar DeRozen's 28 points helped.
*Bulls 107 Celtics 102: D.J. Augustin scored a career-high 33 points, 15 in the fourth quarter. Seriously.
*Knicks 89 Warriors 84: Shannon Brown, waived by the Wizards before the season opener, stole the ball for New York in the final seconds, preventing Golden State from a potential game-tying 3-pointer.
- 1) Indiana^ (52-22)
- 2) Miami^ (50-22, 1.0 GB)
- 3) Toronto^ (42-31, 9.5 GB)
- 4) Chicago^ (41-32, 10.5 GB)
- 5) Brooklyn (39-33, 12.0 GB)
- 6) Washington (38-35, 13.5 GB)
- 7) Charlotte (35-38, 16.5 GB)
- 8) Atlanta (31-41, 20.0 GB)
- 9) NY Knicks (31-43, 21.0 GB)
- 10) Cleveland (30-45, 22.5 GB)
^ clinched playoff berth
*Miami clinched Southeast Division title, Indiana clinched Southeast Division title
News and notes that might be of interest for the Wizards: With Indiana and Miami playing, there could be co-leaders in the Eastern Conference by Monday night. Even if the Wizards avoid the Pacers and Heat in the first round, they would be virtually certain to meet one or the other should John Wall and crew advance.
*Wizards @ Bobcats: One of two remaining games for Washington against seventh place Charlotte
*Spurs @ Pacers: Possible NBA Finals preview with San Antonio on a champion's worthy 17-game winning streak
*76ers @ Hawks: It's been a while since Philadelphia played a game where the other team had the longer losing streak.
*Raptors @ Heat: Miami leads the season series 3-0.
*Celtics @ Bulls: Turns out Derrick Rose is helping Chicago out after all.
*Knicks @ Jazz: Amar'e Stoudamire has been quietly putting up solid numbers for New York. averaged 17 points and six rebounds in March while shooting 59 percent from the field. Recorded his third double-double of the month with 15 and 13 in Sunday's win over Golden State.
Stat of the day: Starting on Feb. 27, Bradley Beal has missed more than half of his field goal attempts in 16 straight games. That stretch randomly coincides with Drew Gooden first game in uniform. Beal is shooting 38.1 percent from the field in March.