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Eastern Conference play-in set: Cavs at Nets, Hornets at Hawks

Apr 8, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) drives to the basket against Cleveland Cavaliers forward Lauri Markkanen (24) during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets won their regular-season finale Sunday and secured the best seed in the NBA Eastern Conference play-in tournament this week.

The Nets finished the season 44-38 after fending off the Indiana Pacers, 134-126. As the No. 7 seed in the East, they will host the No. 8 Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday evening to begin the play-in tournament.

The Atlanta Hawks and Charlotte Hornets both won their regular-season finales Sunday to cement themselves as the Nos. 9 and 10, respectively, in the East. The Hawks (43-39) will host the Hornets (43-39) Wednesday evening.

The winner of Brooklyn-Cleveland will advance to the playoffs and face the second seed (either Milwaukee or Boston) in the first round. The loser will host the winner of Atlanta-Charlotte on Friday to determine who draws the top-seeded Miami Heat in the opening round.

Brooklyn had an identical record to Cleveland after the Cavs beat Milwaukee Sunday. But the Nets earned home-court advantage for Tuesday by virtue of winning the regular-season series, made possible by their 118-107 win over the Cavs on Friday.

The Western Conference play-in tournament schedule was finalized before Sunday’s action. The No. 7 seed Minnesota Timberwolves will host the No. 8 Los Angeles Clippers Tuesday night. The No. 9 New Orleans Pelicans will host the No. 10 San Antonio Spurs Wednesday night.

The play-in finals for both conferences are set for a Friday night doubleheader.

–Field Level Media