Pacers, Bulls clinch final playoff spots in Eastern Conference

Rufina Vignone
Aprile 20, 2017

Lose to the Nets and risk missing the playoffs.

Brooklyn didn't come close to being competitive, shooting a dismal 32 percent from the field, including a season-worst 3-for-33 from 3-point range, en route to finishing one game worse than last year's 21-61 mark.

The young coach who said earlier in the season that he "misses Dwyane Wade," said later that he was "grateful and blessed" to coach the players now on the roster.

"I just want everybody to lock in and realize how important this game is". "We're not counting on anybody else".

IN controls its destiny for No. 7. Brooklyn has the worst record in the National Basketball Association but is coming off a 107-106 win over the Bulls on Saturday evening. The Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat are all in contention as the Eastern Conference's No.7 and No.8 seeds remain up for grabs.

The strong finish salvaged a wild regular season for the Bulls, who traded Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott to the Oklahoma City Thunder in February and wallowed below.500 only a few weeks ago.

The Heat enter Wednesday on the outside looking in.

The Miami Heat took care of business in Game 82 Wednesday night, defeating a Washington Wizards team without John Wall and Bradley Beal.

Hoiberg said he expected his team to embrace the pressure.

The Pacers now sit in 7th place, one game ahead of the Bull and Heat. "The players, we never gave up". Both of those teams play at home. You can't play tight. We've won six of eight. Rondo's absence has created additional playing time for Jerian Grant, who posted a double-double (17 points and 11 assists) on Monday night against the Orlando Magic.

All of this is good news for the Heat, but it's certainly not a guarantee Miami will win.

If there's good news for the Bulls, it's that they showed an ability to hang with the Celtics, as they split the season series two games apiece.

The Nets announced on Tuesday that they are going to rest Jeremy Lin, Brook Lopez and Trevor Booker against the Bulls.

Moments later the Bulls put a finishing touch on their 112-73 thumping of the Nets and later, the Pacers put away the Hawks, 104-86.

Guard Archie Goodwin provided a rare bright spot with a team-high 20 points for the Nets.

"We knew that we didn't have the initial respect of everybody coming in", Lin told Newsday. We need this group to be healthy, to be able to work and we have a lot of room, obviously, for improvement. But that's all right. Tears flowed from various players in front of the media and behind the doors of the locker room.

Hoiberg insisted he is focused on his team's preparation for the game as opposed to Brooklyn's plan to sit six of its players. The Nets are giving the Bulls a big hand in their quest to make the playoffs. I'll be as interested as anybody to see how these talks progress as far as how teams go about resting their players. "So you want them guys to get out there and get that experience of that first game".

"You have to go out and worry about your team". When training camp started, we talked about making the postseason and not just getting in, but when we get in, understanding that when we play the game the way we can and play the right way that we can beat anybody and we can make noise.

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