Race for top seed in NBA playoffs hits high gear

JEFF LATZKE AP Sports Writer Published:

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The race for the top overall seed in the NBA playoffs is on.

When the Oklahoma City Thunder host the Miami Heat on Sunday for the first of two meetings over the next 11 days, it's the opening of what could be a critical stretch to determine who has home-court edge when the NBA finals roll around a few months from now.

The Thunder and Heat are in a virtual tie for second place in the NBA standings, 2½ games behind Chicago. The Bulls visit Oklahoma City next Sunday for the only meeting between those teams this season.

The two East leaders also have two head-to-head games remaining, one in Chicago and one in Miami.

Combined, the three front-runners are 60-10 at home this season.