NBA playoff picture after Friday: Boston takes control of four seed in East

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.

FRIDAY’s SCORES
Charlotte 113, Toronto 111
Orlando 149, Atlanta 113
San Antonio 129, Washington 112
Boston 117, Indiana 97
Rockets 120, Knicks 96
Timberwolves 111, Heat 109
Thunder 123, Pistons 110
Grizzlies 122, Dallas 112
Jazz 119, Kings 98
Suns 133, Pelicans 126
Nuggets 119, Trail Blazers 110
Warriors 120, Cavaliers 114
Lakers 122, Clippers 117

• Boston moves one game up on Indiana for the four seed in the East with the win, plus the Celtics now own the tiebreaker between the teams, meaning the Celtics’ magic number for home court in the first round is just one (Celtics win or Pacer loss). While not officially a lock yet, these teams are almost certain to meet in the first round of the playoffs.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

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

Friday’s playoff movers and clinchers:

• Boston now has full control of the four seed after beating Indiana, the Celtics are one game up on the Pacers in the 4/5 seed race, plus Boston has the tiebreaker (making it a two-game lead in practice, Boston’s magic number for the four seed is one).

• The Celtics are now just 1.5 games back of the 76ers for the three seed (two back in the loss column). Philly would have to go 1-2 in its final three games to open the door for Boston to move up.

• Orlando’s win combined with Detroit’s loss jumps the Magic all the way up to the six seed in the East, half-a-game ahead of the Pistons and Nets. All three of those teams are tied in the loss column.

• Miami’s loss drops them a full game back of the eight seed in the East and makes it a long shot Dwyane Wade will get to extend his last dance into the playoffs. If the Heat win out — against the Raptors, Sixers, and Nets — they will get in, but that’s a tall order.

• Charlotte keeps its slim playoff hopes alive with a Jeremy Lamb game-winner to beat Toronto. The Hornets need help from Brooklyn or Detroit (losing out) to make it, but the dream is not dead.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

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

Friday’s playoff movers and clinchers

• With this win, Nuggets secure home court in the first round (they likely finish the No. 2 or 3 seed, but 4 is mathematically possible). Big step for a team that finished one game out of the playoffs the past two seasons.

• Golden State’s magic number is one (Warriors win or Nuggets loss) to secure home court throughout the Western Conference playoffs.

• Utah is just one game back of Portland in the 4/5 race and having home court in the first round. The Jazz have won seven in a row.

• The Clippers loss and the Thunder’s win leaves Oklahoma City just half a game back of Los Angeles for the six seed (and the teams are tied in the loss column. The Clippers close out the season against the Warriors and Jazz.

• Just one game separates the 6/7/8 seeds.

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

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

SATURDAY’S BIGGEST GAME:

• Brooklyn at Milwaukee (5 pm ET, NBATV). This is a potential first-round matchup, and if the Nets want to avoid that pairing they could use a win here on the road. The Bucks have locked up the top seed, does Giannis Antetokounmpo play? The other Bucks stars?