NBA 2012 standings: Knicks drop below Heat in Eastern Conference

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

After losing to the Chicago Bulls Friday night, the New York Knicks fell out of the catbird seat in the Eastern Conference standings, losing ground to the Miami Heat.

The New York Knicks have been in the driver's seat in the Eastern Conference since they opened the 2012-2013 season with a drubbing of the Miami Heat. But, after losing 106-100 to the Chicago Bulls Friday night, couple with the Heat's win over the Dallas Mavericks on that night, the Heat are the new No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.

The Knicks still have more wins, 19 to 17, than the Heat, but the Heat, at 17-6, have a .739 winning percentage compared to the 19-7 Knicks' .731.

The Knicks are still 5.5 games ahead of the Brooklyn Nets in the Atlantic Division and 2.5 games ahead of the Atlanta Hawks in the conference standings. The Bulls lead the Central Division and are three games behind the Knicks, in the fourth seed.

In the Western Conference, three teams at the top of the standings would each be ahead of the Heat if they were geographically different, the Thunder, Clippers and Grizzlies. Despite losing their first game in their last 13 Thursday night, the Oklahoma City Thunder are still in possession of the best record in the NBA (21-5). The Clippers, who after Friday night extended their franchise-best winning streak to 12 games, are 20-6 and one game behind the Thunder. The Grizzlies are right on their heels and on top of the Southwest conference, at 18-6.

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