Nets secure No. 7 seed with win, East play-in matchups set
After a disappointing season filled with drama and injuries, the Brooklyn Nets played well enough in the final weeks to give themselves the best chance to advance out of the play-in.
With a 134-126 win over the Pacers on Sunday, behind 35 points from Kyrie Irving, the Nets locked up the No. 7 seed in the East. They will host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday (7 p.m. on TNT) in a game where the winner advances to the playoffs as the No. 7 seed. The Cavaliers, who stumbled down the standings as they struggled over the final month of the season, secured the No. 8 seed by beating a Bucks team 133-115 (Milwaukee rested every key player in this game).
That Bucks’ loss opens the door for the Celtics to grab the No. 2 seed with a win against the Grizzlies (Milwaukee would fall to No. 3). It gets more complex than that with the 76ers also in that 2/3/4 mix in the East.
Both the Atlanta Hawks and Charlotte Hornets also won on Sunday, locking them into a win-or-go-home first-round play-in game Wednesday in Atlanta (7 p.m. ESPN). The Hawks beat the Rockets 130-114 while the Hornets handled the Wizards 124-108 on Sunday.
The loser of the Nets/Cavaliers game will host the winner of the Hawks/Hornets game in a win-or-go-home game Friday night, with the victor in that game entering the playoffs against the No. 8 seed and taking on the Heat starting next weekend.