Wednesday was a big night for clinching around the NBA. And as the regular season winds down, the playoff field is starting to come more into focus.
The Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks both clinched postseason berths with victories. The Heat notched a 106-98 win over the Boston Celtics to also clinch the Southeast Division. The Mavs won 120-112 over against the Cleveland Cavaliers to secure their spot in the playoffs.
Dallas became the third Western Conference team to clinch a postseason berth, joining the Phoenix Suns and Memphis Grizzlies, who secured the Southwest Division title for the first time in franchise history with a 112-111 win over the San Antonio Spurs. The Suns and Grizzlies are already locked into the top two seeds in the West.
Miami is the only Eastern Conference team to have clinched a playoff berth, but it shouldn't be long before more do so.
Here's everything else you need to know about the NBA playoff picture.


1. y-Miami Heat: 49-28
2. Milwaukee Bucks: 47-28
3. Philadelphia 76ers: 46-29
4. Boston Celtics: 47-30
5. Chicago Bulls: 44-32
6. Toronto Raptors: 44-32
7. Cleveland Cavaliers: 42-34
8. Brooklyn Nets: 40-36
9. Charlotte Hornets: 40-37
10. Atlanta Hawks: 39-37
11. New York Knicks: 34-43
12. Washington Wizards: 33-43
13. e-Indiana Pacers: 25-52
14. e-Detroit Pistons: 20-56
15. e-Orlando Magic: 20-57
Western Conference
1. b-Phoenix Suns: 62-14
2. y-Memphis Grizzlies: 54-23
3. x-Dallas Mavericks: 48-29
4. Golden State Warriors: 48-29
5. Denver Nuggets: 46-31
6. Utah Jazz: 45-31
7. Minnesota Timberwolves: 43-34
8. Los Angeles Clippers: 37-39
9. New Orleans Pelicans: 33-43
10. Los Angeles Lakers: 31-44
11. San Antonio Spurs: 31-45
12. Sacramento Kings: 28-49
13. Portland Trail Blazers: 27-49
14. e-Oklahoma City Thunder: 22-54
15. e-Houston Rockets: 20-57
best league record

y-clinched division
x-clinched playoff berth
e-eliminated from playoff contention

Current Playoff Bracket
No. 1 Miami Heat vs. No. 8 Seed
No. 2 Milwaukee Bucks vs. No. 7 Seed
No. 3 Philadelphia 76ers vs. No. 6 Toronto Raptors
No. 4 Boston Celtics vs. No. 5 Chicago Bulls

No. 7 Cleveland Cavaliers vs. No. 8 Brooklyn Nets
No. 9 Charlotte Hornets vs. No. 10 Atlanta Hawks
Things remain tight at the top of the Eastern Conference standings, as the Heat, Bucks, 76ers and Celtics are all separated by only two games. Miami may be the only team to have clinched a playoff berth, but any one of those four could end up as the No. 1 seed.
The Celtics had an opportunity to clinch a postseason berth Wednesday night. They needed to beat the Heat and have the Cavaliers lose to the Mavericks. Cleveland lost, but Boston could take care of its own business at home against Miami.
It won't be long before the Celtics clinch, though, as they need only one win or one Cavaliers loss for that to happen.
There's a decent chance that the current top six teams in the East will be heading to the playoffs and the teams currently in the Nos. 7-10 spots will be going to the play-in tournament. The Raptors have a two-game advantage over the Cavs for the No. 6 seed, while the Hawks have a 5.5-game lead over the New York Knicks for the No. 10 spot.
The Washington Wizards are still mathematically alive even though they are six games behind the Hawks. But Washington will be eliminated from contention with its next loss or Atlanta's next win, so it's highly unlikely the Wizards will be playing beyond the end of the regular season.
Even though the Eastern Conference is unlikely to have a major shakeup down the stretch, there are some important seeding battles taking place. The Nets, Hornets and Hawks are all separated by only a game, and there's a benefit to being the No. 8 seed, as that team can lose its first play-in tournament contest and still reach the playoffs, a luxury the Nos. 9 and 10 seeds don't get.

Current Playoff Bracket
No. 1 Phoenix Suns vs. No. 8 Seed
No. 2 Memphis Grizzlies vs. No. 7 Seed
No. 3 Dallas Mavericks vs. No. 6 Utah Jazz
No. 4 Golden State Warriors vs. No. 5 Denver Nuggets
Play-In Matchups
No. 7 Minnesota Timberwolves vs. No. 8 Los Angeles Clippers
No. 9 New Orleans Pelicans vs. No. 10 Los Angeles Lakers
The Suns have already secured the best record in the NBA, while the Grizzlies are locked in as the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference behind them. So they both have to wait for the play-in tournament to unfold before knowing their first-round opponents.
But it's not even clear which teams will be participating in the play-in tourney. The Lakers hold the No. 10 spot, but they are only a half-game ahead of the San Antonio Spurs. The Sacramento Kings (four games back of the Lakers) and Portland Trail Blazers (five back) are also still alive in the race.
Los Angeles fell out of the play-in tournament Tuesday, when it lost 128-110 to Dallas. But the Lakers moved back into the No. 10 spot when the Spurs lost 112-111 to the Grizzlies on Wednesday. Los Angeles hasn't won consecutive games since a four-game winning streak from Dec. 31-Jan. 7 and has gone 10-25 since.
The Jazz have lost five games in a row, so their lead over the Timberwolves for the No. 6 seed is down to 2.5 games. So it's not a sure thing that Utah will avoid having to compete in the play-in tournament, although it controls its own destiny down the stretch.
On Wednesday, the Warriors had an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth, as they needed a win or a Timberwolves loss. Although Minnesota lost to Toronto, Golden State fell to Phoenix. But the Warriors will secure a spot in the postseason with their next victory or the Timberwolves' next loss.
Even if Golden State clinches a playoff berth, though, it doesn't have much momentum. The Warriors have lost four straight games and seven of their past eight, so they need to get back on track before the postseason arrives.
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