Playoff picture: 6th slipping away

April, 21, 2012
4/21/12
6:00
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The Knicks loss to the Cavs on Friday cut Orlando's magic number to clinch the sixth seed to one.

New York is 3 1/2 games behind Orlando. The Magic have four games left.

One Magic win or one more Knicks loss will leave New York shut out of the sixth seed.

Orlando plays at Utah on Saturday. If the Magic beat the Jazz, the Knicks will be left battling the Sixers for the seventh seed.

The Magic also have a home game against Charlotte on Wednesday so, unless Kemba Walker's club can shock Orlando, the Knicks can forget about the sixth seed.

Which takes us to the seventh seed.

New York (33-30) has sole possession of seventh, a half-game up on the Sixers (32-30). Philadelphia plays at Indiana on Saturday night. With a win, the Sixers will move into a tie with the Knicks for seventh.

But New York owns the tie-breaker, based this season's head-to-head match ups. So, if Philly wins on Saturday, New York will have a tenuous hold on seventh place going into Sunday afternoon's game in Atlanta.

The race for the top spot in the Eastern Conference also bears watching for New York.

The Bulls (47-16) have a 1 1/2-game lead over the Heat in the East, one in the loss column. Chicago has three games remaining, while Miami has four.

The Bulls host Dallas on Saturday. Miami plays Washington at home.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
27.4 3.1 1.2 38.7
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsT. Chandler 9.6
AssistsR. Felton 5.6
StealsI. Shumpert 1.2
BlocksA. Bargnani 1.2

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