Today: May 30, 2024
Today: May 30, 2024

The NBA's East play-in field is set: Miami goes to Philadelphia while Atlanta goes to Chicago

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The NBA's East play-in field is set: Miami goes to Philadelphia while Atlanta goes to Chicago
April 14, 2024
TIM REYNOLDS - AP

Orlando blew out Milwaukee, Indiana blew out Atlanta, Philadelphia blew out Brooklyn and Miami blew out Toronto.

And all that meant this: Nothing on the bottom half of the Eastern Conference's playoff chase changed on the final day of the regular season.

It will be eighth-seeded Miami visiting seventh-seeded Philadelphia in an East play-in game on Wednesday, followed by 10th-seeded Atlanta visiting ninth-seeded Chicago in an elimination game later that night. The Heat-76ers winner will face the No. 2 seed — either New York or Milwaukee — in Round 1 of the playoffs, and the Heat-76ers loser will play host to the Hawks-Bulls winner on Friday night.

The winner of that game will play No. 1 seed Boston in Round 1, starting April 21 at TD Garden.

“Look, this is the best time of year,” said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, whose team started in the play-in last season and wound up in the NBA Finals. “These kind of environments, the games, the context ... you can't expect to be easy.”

The East result set the game schedule for the Western Conference as well, with both of those play-in games set for Tuesday. Those matchups — Sacramento, the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State will be joined by either Phoenix or New Orleans — will be set later Sunday afternoon.

Cleveland is the No. 4 seed in the East for the second consecutive year. The Cavaliers had a chance to move to No. 2 or No. 3 in the East with a win on Sunday and led lottery-bound Charlotte by 13 with 10 minutes remaining.

And they didn't seem to want to move up much, getting outscored 30-7 the rest of the way. Charlotte won 120-110.

___

AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA

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