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NBA Standings: Atlanta Hawks pad Eastern Conference lead with win over Pacers

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The Atlanta Hawks have opened up a six game lead in the Eastern Conference Standings.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks have won 14 straight games and a remarkable 28 of their last 30 dating back to Thanksgiving. At 35-8, they are threatening to run away from the pack in the Eastern Conference. Atlanta picked up a game in the standings Wednesday night after they defeated the Indiana Pacers at Philips Arena. Second place Washington suffered a 105-103 loss to Oklahoma City while third place Toronto fell 92-86 in Memphis.

Washington has gone 7-3 over their last 10 games to keep the Hawks within sight but Toronto has lost seven of 10 to fall 7.5 games back. The Chicago Bulls are currently fourth but have lost two straight and six of 10 and now have questions surrounding their head coach Tom Thibodeau. Besides Atlanta, the Cleveland Cavaliers have the longest winning streak in the East having won four straight but at 23-20 are 12 games back of Atlanta.

Charlotte has won eight of its last 10 games and has pulled with a half game of eighth place in the Eastern Conference. Detroit is also continues to surge after jettisoning Josh Smith and are a 1.5 games out of a potential playoff spot.

Here is a look at the East Standings entering play on Thursday:

Team W L PCT GB
1. Atlanta Hawks 35 8 .814 0.0
2. Washington Wizards 29 14 .674 6.0
3. Toronto Raptors 27 15 .643 7.5
4. Chicago Bulls 27 16 .628 8.0
5. Cleveland Cavaliers 23 20 .535 12.0
6. Milwaukee Bucks 21 20 .512 13.0
7. Miami Heat 18 24 .429 16.5
8. Brooklyn Nets 18 24 .429 16.5
Charlotte Hornets 18 25 .419 17.0
Detroit Pistons 17 26 .395 18.0
Indiana Pacers 15 29 .341 20.5
Boston Celtics 13 26 .333 20.0
Orlando Magic 15 30 .333 21.0
Philadelphia 76ers 8 34 .190 26.5
New York Knicks 7 36 .163 28.0

Out west, the Golden State Warriors continue to dominate and have gained some separation in the standings. The Warriors at 34-6, lead Portland by 4.5 games and Memphis by five. Dallas is fourth and 5.5 back while the Rockets are fifth and 6.5 back. The defending champion Spurs eight of 10 and four straight but are seventh and 8.5 games back.

The race for the eighth spot out west is going to be interesting to watch the rest of the way. Phoenix is also riding a four-game winning streak and leads Oklahoma City by three games for what would be the final playoff spot. The Thunder have battled injury for much of the season but are now healthy and are going to have to make a charge in the second half just to get into the postseason.

Here is a look at the West standings entering play on Thursday:

Team W L PCT GB
1. Golden State Warriors 34 6 .850 0.0
2. Portland Trail Blazers 31 12 .721 4.5
3. Memphis Grizzlies 30 12 .714 5.0
4. Dallas Mavericks 30 13 .698 5.5
5. Houston Rockets 29 14 .674 6.5
6. L.A. Clippers 28 14 .667 7.0
7. San Antonio Spurs 27 16 .628 8.5
8. Phoenix Suns 26 18 .591 10.0
Oklahoma City 22 20 .524 13.0
New Orleans 21 21 .500 14.0
Denver Nuggets 18 24 .429 17.0
Sacramento Kings 16 26 .381 19.0
Utah Jazz 14 28 .333 21.0
L.A. Lakers 12 31 .279 23.5
Minnesota Timberwolves 7 34 .171 27.5