(Reuters) - The handful of teams still fighting to secure one of the final four NBA playoff berths have six days to extend their seasons and embark on what they hope is a Cinderella run.
Seven of the eight Eastern Conference playoff spots have already been secured while five of the Western Conference's eight postseason tickets have been punched.
Dallas is two games left to play while their challengers for a playoff spot each have four.
But the teams still chasing playoff spots face long odds of being the last club standing as all but two of the previous 66 NBA champions have come from teams that entered the postseason seeded third or higher.
Indiana is currently a half-game ahead of Miami and with a road win on Friday would move one victory away from securing the top seed and home-court advantage throughout the East playoffs.
The Toronto Raptors and Chicago Bulls are locked in a battle for the East's third seed with the former one win away from the Atlantic Division title and the latter riding a season-high six-game winning streak.
The San Antonio Spurs, 3-1/2 games up on the Oklahoma City Thunder with three to play, can secure the top seed in the West with a win later on Friday over a Suns team that is percentage points ahead of eighth-seed Dallas.
The Los Angeles Clippers, who close out the regular season with two of their three games against non-playoff teams, appear to have the third seed wrapped up.
The fourth-seed Houston Rockets, who have three of their starters battling injuries, can lock up home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs with a win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday.
That leaves the fifth-seed Portland Trail Blazers left to fight off a Warriors team that is 2-1/2 games back and trying to secure a playoff spot and more favorable first-round opponent.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto)
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