NBA playoff picture after Wednesday: Orlando is in, Miami is out

Associated Press
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Every night between now and the end of the 2018-19 NBA regular season, we will take an updated look at the NBA Playoff picture — what the standings look like, the potential matchups, who clinched, who moved up and down, all to set the stage for the NBA’s second season.

WEDNESDAY’S SCORES
Indiana 108, Detroit 89
Orlando 114, New York 100
Chicago 115, Washington 114
Atlanta 130, Philadelphia 122
Toronto 115, Brooklyn 105
Boston 112, Miami 102
Charlotte 114, New Orleans 109
Minnesota 110, Dallas 108
Denver 113, San Antonio 85
Utah 118, Phoenix 97
Portland 116, Memphis 89
Houston 135, L.A. Clippers 103

• Orlando moves into the playoffs as the 8 seed with its win and Miami losing to Boston. Orlando is now tied with Brooklyn (also losers) for the 7/8 seed, Miami is half a game behind them, but all three teams are tied in the loss column with 40 (the Heat have played one fewer game). Detroit’s loss has it just half a game ahead of the Heat/Nets.

• Denver, Houston, and Portland all won, keeping them tightly bunched together and seeds 2-4 out West.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

X – Clinched Playoff Spot, Y – Clinched Division, Z – Clinched Conference

Tuesday’s playoff movers and clinchers:

• Boston and Indiana both win and remain tied for the 4/5 seed in the East with a head-to-head meeting coming Friday night.

• Orlando’s win combined with Miami’s loss moved the Magic into the eight seed in East, tied with Brooklyn (still the 7 seed despite its loss to Toronto). Sitting in the eight seed, Orlando technically controls its own destiny: Win against the hot Hawks, at Boston, then against Charlotte the last night of the season and they are in.

• Detroit remains the six seed, but with its loss is just one game from falling out of the playoffs entirely. Indiana beat Detroit in large part because Blake Griffin is still out injured (sore left knee) and the Pistons can’t create any consistent offense without him.

• Toronto handled Brooklyn 115-105 in a potential first-round matchup. Pascal Siakam led the Raptors with 28 points and 10 rebounds, while Kawhi Leonard added 26 points.

• Charlotte stayed mathematically alive with their win, but the Hornets are 2.5 games out of the playoffs with four to play.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

X – Clinched Playoff Spot, Y – Clinched Division, Z – Clinched Conference

Monday’s playoff movers and clinchers

• With San Antonio’s loss, it took over so possession of the eight seed. At least Gregg Popovich wasn’t around to see it, he was tossed just over a minute into the game.

• That Spurs loss was to the Nuggets in a potential first-round preview. Nikola Jokic led the way for Denver with 20 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists. The Nuggets were moving the ball well and had a season-high 41 assists, bouncing back from their tough night on Tuesday against Golden State.

• Portland and Houston remain in a close battle for the three and four seeds in the West, with both winning on Wednesday (Houston is half a game ahead, but the teams are tied in the loss column). The three seed avoids red-hot Utah in the first round and is on the other side of the bracket from the Warriors.

• The Rockets dismantled the Clippers in what could be a first-round preview. James Harden and Chris Paul combined for 60 in the win.

• Denver remains the two seed, 1.5 games up on Houston (two in the loss column).

IF THE PLAYOFFS STARTED TODAY:
Orlando at Milwaukee
Brooklyn at Toronto
Detroit at Philadelphia
Indiana at Boston

San Antonio at Golden State
Oklahoma City at Denver
L.A. Clippers at Houston
Utah at Portland

THURSDAY’S BIGGEST GAME:

• Milwaukee at Philadelphia (8 pm ET, TNT). Not necessarily a lot on the line, but if the Bucks win they lock up the No. 1 seed in the East and overall in the NBA, meaning they have home court the entire way. This is more of a measuring stick game… if everyone plays. Joel Embiid has sat out the last three and is questionable, and it’s possible players such as Giannis Antetokounmpo could sit this one out. Still the best game of the night.