The New York Knicks are assured a spot in the Eastern Conference play-offs for the first time in eight years after the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Boston Celtics 102-94 on Thursday.

Boston’s defeat sealed a top-six finish for the Knicks, while the Celtics are likely to have to come through the new play-in tournament, for sides placed seventh to 10th, to seal their place in the play-offs.

They overcame the Washington Wizards 120-116 in a game that had play-off implications for both sides.

John Collins’ three-pointer with 24.8secs remaining helped Atlanta secure the crucial comeback win that saw them move a half-game ahead of Miami and New York in their battle for fourth spot in the Eastern Conference, and home-court advantage in the first round.

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