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.
Milwaukee 128, Philadelphia 122
Sacramento 117, Cleveland 104
Golden State 108, L.A. Lakers 90
• Milwaukee’s win — behind 45 points and 13 rebounds by Giannis Antetokounmpo — clinched the best record in the East and the NBA. The Bucks will have home court advantage as long as it lasts through the postseason.
Tuesday’s playoff movers and clinchers:
• Milwaukee is locked in as the No. 1 seed, both in the East and the entire playoffs, as long as they last.
• This also has locked the Raptors in as two seed.
• Off the court but of note for the playoff chase: Miami’s Josh Richardson is out for the remainder of the regular season (and maybe some of the playoffs, if the Heat make it). He strained his groin Wednesday night when he landed awkwardly with his leg up against a basket stanchion. Miami is half-a-game out of the playoffs heading into Friday night.
Monday’s playoff movers and clinchers
• With their win, the Warriors’ magic number to clinch the West is three (Warriors wins or Nuggets losses).
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
FRIDAY’S BIGGEST GAMES:
• Boston at Indiana (8 pm ET, ESPN). The Celtics and Pacers are tied for the 4/5 seed in the East and almost certainly will end up facing each other in the first round of the playoffs. The only question is which team will have home court in that meeting, the winner of this game will have an inside track to get it.
• Detroit at Oklahoma City (8 pm ET). Both teams need a win, the Pistons to secure the six seed in the East, the Thunder to stay out of the eight seed in the West (and avoid the Warriors in the first round). Blake Griffin has missed the last three Pistons games and is questionable for this one.
• Miami at Minnesota (8 pm ET). The Heat are currently the nine seed, half a game behind Orlando for the final playoff slot in the East, they need every win they can get the rest of the way. Orlando is facing a scrappy Atlanta team Friday, the Heat need wins and a little help.
• Portland at Denver (10:30 pm ET, ESPN). The Nuggets are the likely two seed in the West but need a couple more wins to secure that. Portland needs one more win to secure home court in the first round and it is just half a game back of Houston for the three seed. Both teams could use the win.