The NBA playoffs are pretty much around the corner. While some teams are still fighting to secure their place in the postseason, others are struggling to improve their position in the standings. Here are the details after an intense day on Monday.
Bulls Defeat 76ers in Overtime
The Chicago Bulls left the Philadelphia 76ers 109-105 on the court in one of the most exciting games of the day. For Chicago, the win is crucial as they cling to the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. At 34-37, the Bulls are two games ahead of Washington, who are hot on their heels.
For Philadelphia, their 48-23 record keeps them in third place in the Eastern Conference. Only the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics have sealed their postseason berth. Philadelphia also needs to seal its playoff spot.
Indiana Suffers Heavy Blow to Playoff Hopes
The Charlotte Hornets’ 115-109 win over the Indiana Pacers dealt a blow to the Indiana team’s hopes for a playoff appearance. The Pacers are 2.5 games behind the Bulls for the last spot in the Eastern Conference. The loss leaves Indiana 32-40, leaving it with nothing more to do than start looking at next season.
For their part, the Hornets are already officially eliminated from contention, so their eyes are fixed on next season. That is why Charlotte is already thinking about the first round of the draft where it will look for a star player.
Grizzlies Win Against Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks took a bitter 112-108 loss courtesy of the Memphis Grizzlies. The Memphis five arrived to win, relying on the 28 points of Jaren Jackson, Jr. Santi Aldama contributed 14 rebounds for Memphis. With the win, Memphis sits firmly in second place behind the Denver Nuggets.
For Dallas, the loss puts its playoff position in a bind. At 36-36, it’s just half a game ahead of Minnesota, Oklahoma and Utah, and one game ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers for the last spot. In addition, the New Orleans Pelicans are 1.5 games behind. The Mavs need to find the winning formula to avoid their exit from the postseason.
Timberwolves Win Offensive Duel
The Minnesota Timberwolves, who trail the Mavericks in the standings, won a 140-134 offensive duel over the New York Knicks. Julius Randle’s 57 points for the Knicks, and Taurean Prince’s 35 for the Timberwolves, set the tone for one of the most offensive games this season.
For Minnesota, the win brings them closer to the Mavericks, keeping their Western Conference position strong. For the Knicks, their 42-31 record keeps them in fifth place in the Eastern Conference. However, the Knicks are two games above Brooklyn, so they can’t afford to leave more games behind.