Celtics’ loss gives Knicks free ride to playoffs

The New York Knicks are officially back in the NBA playoffs!

Thanks to Kevin Love’s best game of the season, the Knicks (38-31) got a free ride to the playoffs after the Cleveland Cavaliers dealt Boston Celtics a 102-94 loss.

Love pumped in 30 points and 14 rebounds, both season-highs, as the Knicks heaved a sigh of huge relief at their homes after a painful overtime loss to the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers last night.

It will be the Knicks’ first postseason appearance since Carmelo Anthony led them to the second round of the playoffs in the 2012-13 season.

Knicks’ All-Star forward Julius Randle immediately celebrated the franchise’s return to the playoffs on Twitter.

He’s right.

The Knicks still have plenty of work to do beginning tomorrow night’s matchup against the San Antonio Spurs. With three games left, the New York must sweep its remaining games and hope the Miami Heat (38-31) lose one game to grab the fourth seed in the East and a homecourt edge in the first round playoffs.

The Atlanta Hawks (39-31) momentarily sit as solo fourth after their come-from-behind victory against the Washington Wizards, 120-116, earlier. But the Knicks hold the tie-breaker with a 2-1 record over the Hawks if they wind up with the same record.

Meanwhile, Miami swept New York this season, giving the Heat the edge in case of a tie or even in a three-way tie with the Hawks. In this scenario, the Knicks will be the sixth seed. 

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

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