A look at the NBA playoff picture

The Associated Press

A look at where things stand in the NBA playoff picture, with eight days remaining in the regular season:

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EAST UPDATE

The race for No. 1 got muddled, and the chase for No. 8 got more interesting.

Miami lost at home to Brooklyn - the Nets went 4-0 against the Heat this season, and that doesn't include a 2-0 preseason mark against the reigning champs, either - while Atlanta fell at home to Detroit.

So Tuesday night's big winners out of the East: Indiana and New York, neither of whom actually played.

The Pacers are now a half-game back of Miami in the race for No. 1, the Knicks moved within 1 1/2 games of the Hawks in the chase for No. 8.

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WEST UPDATE

San Antonio lost to Minnesota and Oklahoma City beat Sacramento, but all that probably only delays what still looks inevitable - the Spurs still have an extremely firm grasp on the No. 1 seed out West and home-court advantage throughout the entirety of the playoffs.

Dallas moved closer to wrapping up a spot by topping Utah. Houston beat the Los Angeles Lakers 145-130, keeping the Rockets well on pace for the No. 4 seed and home-court in the first round.

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WEDNESDAY'S GAMES

Miami at Memphis: Grizzlies one game back of the No. 8 spot out West. Heat - still without Dwyane Wade - aren't exactly cruising right now.

Indiana at Milwaukee: Pacers could vault to No. 1 in East if Miami stumbles at Memphis. A loss to the Bucks would be disaster for reeling Indy.

Oklahoma City at Los Angeles Clippers: Two teams good enough to win it all, in a likely Western Conference semifinal preview.

Philadelphia at Toronto: Raptors and Bulls vying for third-best record in East.

Chicago at Minnesota: Wolves just handled Spurs with ease. Tom Thibodeau surely will ensure the Bulls noticed.

Charlotte at Washington: Game apart in East in race for No. 6, which would mean no Miami or Indiana in opening round.

Brooklyn at Orlando: If Nets want to open at home, this can't slip away.

Boston at Atlanta: A home-home back-to-back for Hawks. Lose this one, and Knicks will have serious hope.

Detroit at Cleveland: Cavs have to think they need to go 4-0 to have any shot.

Phoenix at New Orleans: Suns start day No. 8 in West, are 3-0 against Pelicans this season.

Houston at Denver: Rockets beat Nuggets on Sunday, could put stranglehold on No. 4 seed with win.

Sacramento at Portland: If the Blazers want a serious shot at the 4 seed, they can't stumble here.

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CURRENT BRACKET

First-round matchups if the season ended Tuesday...

East: Miami-Atlanta, Indiana-Charlotte, Toronto-Washington, Chicago-Brooklyn.

West: San Antonio-Phoenix, Oklahoma City-Dallas, Clippers-Golden State, Houston-Portland.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY

''If we are going to try to win a championship this year, we know we're probably going to have to go through Miami.'' - Paul Pierce, after Brooklyn finished its season sweep of the Heat.

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Follow Tim Reynolds on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/ByTimReynolds

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