The Brooklyn Nets will play a must win play-in game on Tuesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers to secure the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. The Nets put themselves in control of their playoff fates after winning the final four games of the regular season to complete a tumultuous regular season.
“Now we get to carry some of that momentum on into Tuesday,” Kyrie Irving said following the Nets 134-126 victory over the Indiana Pacers.
Irving had 35-points, while Kevin Durant had 20 points and a career-high 16 assists in the victory.
The Nets jumped all over Indiana in the early stages, grabbing a 41-29 lead after the first quarter, and cruised from there. Bruce Brown and Andre Drummond also had 20 points each in the victory for Brooklyn.
With the focus now squarely on the Cavs on Tuesday night, the Nets must win to secure their spot in the playoffs. If Brooklyn should lose to Cleveland, they would need to beat the winner of the Charlotte-Atlanta game on Thursday night just to secure the eighth seed. Two losses and the Nets would be eliminated.
If Brooklyn is the seventh seed in the playoffs, they would face the Boston Celtics in the first round — and there is a chance that Ben Simmons, acquired at the deadline for James Harden, could be back in the lineup for the first time in a Nets uniform.
Sources: There’a optimism Nets star Ben Simmons could make debut during first round of the NBA playoffs as long as his progression continues in strengthening his legs and back. Simmons has been ramping up his workload and is expected to continue doing so.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 10, 2022
Meanwhile, over at the Garden, the Knicks frustrating season came to a conclusion in a 105-94 win over Toronto. Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickly had career nights, with Toppin leading the way with 42 points. Quickly had a triple-double, 34 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.
THE OBI TOPPIN & IMMANUEL QUICKLEY SHOW— KNICKS ON MSG (@KnicksMSGN) April 11, 2022
Toppin: 42 PTS* - 10 REB - 16/28 FG - 6/14 3PT
Quickley: 34 PTS* - 12 AST* - 10 REB
* Career-high pic.twitter.com/qcO6rVONfC
It was a nice finish to an otherwise disappointing season as the Knicks finished at 37-45. The year will best be remembered for the fans sudden discontent with Julius Randle, who, according to reports, could be looking to get traded.