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Indiana Pacers Clinch Third Seed in East Following Atlanta Loss

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Mar 30, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks shooting guard Joe Johnson (2) looks on against the New York Knicks during the second half at Philips Arena. The Hawks won 100-90. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-US PRESSWIRE
Mar 30, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks shooting guard Joe Johnson (2) looks on against the New York Knicks during the second half at Philips Arena. The Hawks won 100-90. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-US PRESSWIRE

It's difficult as a Pacers fan to root for the New York Knicks under any circumstances, but they benefited the blue and gold today with a 113-112 win over the Atlanta Hawks. Carmelo Anthony topped all scorers with 39 points and 10 boards to help the Knicks with the win as Marvin Williams, who led the Hawks with 29 points and 11 rebounds, saw the clock expire as he drove for a dunk.

The Atlanta loss means the Indiana Pacers will be playing as the third seed in the Eastern Conference when the NBA Playoffs kick off in less than a week. On the flip side, however, the New York Knicks keep their slim chances of snatching the #6 seed from Orlando alive with the win. The Magic just need a win or a New York loss to avoid slipping to #7, and will have a chance to shut the door on New York at 8:00 p.m. EST against the Denver Nuggets.

To of course make matters that much more complicated, a Magic win tonight would draw them within half a game of the Hawks for the fifth seed. To close the year, Atlanta will host the Clippers and Dallas, Orlando will be at Charlotte and back home against Memphis following tonight's game, and the Knicks have the Clippers at home and Charlotte on the road to close their campaign.

Indiana knows they'll be the third seed, but there remains a lot of possibilities on who will be traveling to Indianapolis next week to open the postseason at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.