Heat, Pelicans take the last two spots

The Miami Heat and New Orleans Pelicans clinched the final two spots in the NBA playoffs after victories in their play-in tournament games.

The Heat defeated the Chicago Bulls 112-91, while the Pelicans claimed a 105-98 victory over the Sacramento Kings.

Despite the absence of key player Jimmy Butler, Miami dominated the first quarter and never relinquished the lead.
The Pelicans were without their star Zion Williamson, but Brandon Ingram’s 24 points helped them keep the Kings at bay.

Miami takes the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference and will now face the Boston Celtics, who finished with the best record in the regular season, with New Orleans playing the Western Conference’s top seed, the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Both series start on Sunday.
Butler, who has led Miami to two NBA Finals, including last year’s loss to the Denver Nuggets, is dealing with a sprained knee ligament for several weeks.

Williamson has strained his left hamstring and will be re-evaluated in two weeks.
NBA Playoffs, First Round
Eastern Conference
(1) Boston Celtics vs. (8) Miami Heat
(2) New York Knicks vs. (7) Philadelphia 76ers
(3) Milwaukee Bucks vs. (6) Indiana Pacers
(4) Cleveland Cavaliers vs. (5) Orlando Magic
Western Conference
(1) Oklahoma City Thunder vs. (8) New Orleans Pelicans
(2) Denver Nuggets vs. (7) Los Angeles Lakers
(3) Minnesota Timberwolves vs. (6) Phoenix Suns
(4) Los Angeles Clippers vs. (5) Dallas Mavericks