N.B.A. Playoffs

The similarities between the teams are more of a statistical nature than of a personnel one. But like the ’99 Knicks, the 2012 Sixers entered the playoffs in a lockout-shortened season as the eighth seed and proceeded to upend the No. 1 seed in the first round.

In 1999, the Knicks outlasted the Miami Heat on ’s rim-roller in the closing second of Game 5. This postseason, the Sixers outlasted the top-seeded, injury-ravaged Bulls, closing them out in six games when Andre Iguodala, a terrible free-throw shooter (61.7 percent), coolly drained two at the end of Game 6.

Only five No. 8 seeds have beaten a No. 1 seed since the N.B.A. adopted its 16-team playoff format for the 1983-84 season. Two of those five have come in the two seasons that were shortened by labor strife. The 1998-99 season lasted 50 games. The 2011-12 season went 66 games.

The 1999 Knicks, however, are the only one of the five No. 8 seeds to win more than one series, getting all the way to the finals. The 1994 Denver Nuggets lost in the second round to the Utah Jazz. The 2007 Golden State Warriors lost in the second round to Utah. And the 2011 Memphis Grizzlies lost in the second round to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The ’99 Knicks finished 27-23 and were six games behind No. 1 Miami, so the divide was not that great. The 2012 Sixers finished 15 games behind the Eastern Conference’s top seed, the Chicago Bulls.

“Lockout seasons are strange,” the former Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy recalled. “We never looked at ourselves as being a No. 8 seed or being a big underdog. I think if we had played an 82-game season that year, we would have won 48 to 50 games. It wasn’t a huge upset to us that we beat Miami. I don’t think Miami saw it that way, either.”

In the second round, the Knicks beat the No. 4 seed Atlanta Hawks, sweeping them in four games. This year, the Sixers will face the No. 4 Boston Celtics in Game 7 on Saturday night at TD Garden.

Asked if he thought a Philadelphia win would classify as an upset, Van Gundy, now an analyst for ESPN, said: “Yes, I think it would be. But at the same time, I don’t think the talent differential is so great between the teams that I wouldn’t be shocked if Philadelphia won. But I don’t expect that to happen.”

Should Philadelphia prevail, the Sixers would move on to face the No. 2-seeded Heat. In 1999, the Knicks advanced to face the No. 2-seeded Indiana Pacers in the conference finals and ousted them in six games, despite losing Patrick Ewing after the second game because of an injury. The Knicks took Game 3 of that series on Larry Johnson’s famous 4-point play with 5.7 seconds left.

The ’99 Knicks went on to play the No. 1 seed in the West for the league championship. That would be the same team that is the No. 1 seed in the West this year: the San Antonio Spurs.

The Knicks finally ran out of gas, losing in five games. Van Gundy said he looks at this year’s 76ers and does not see the same kind of talent that he had on his team.

But the 76ers have been good enough to extend favored Boston to the maximum.

The Sixers, who have an “ignorance is bliss” attitude going for them, know they are playing with house money and have proved to be a handful for the older, slower Celtics.

KNICKS KEEP WOODSON Mike Woodson’s interim tag as coach of the Knicks was removed Friday as the team said it had given him a multiyear contract extension, rewarding him for a terrific finish to what had been a turbulent season. Woodson led the Knicks to an 18-6 record after replacing Mike D’Antoni on March 14. The Knicks lost a first-round playoff series to the Miami Heat but snapped a league-record, 13-game postseason losing streak. (AP)

Anthony Scores 39, Knicks Beat Hawks 113-112

The Hawks took their final lead at 112-111 on Joe Johnson’s 3-pointer with 1:50 left. Anthony countered with a jumper 10 seconds later for the final margin.

Off an inbound play with three seconds remaining, Atlanta’s Marvin Williams beat Amare Stoudemire off the dribble at the top of the lane. But as he went for a dunk just before the buzzer, Stoudemire blocked the shot. Williams, who led Atlanta with a season-high 29 points, wanted a foul call on Anthony or Stoudemire, both of whom appeared to make contact.

Stoudemire started at center in place of Tyson Chandler, who was resting a sore knee.

The teams combined for 27 3-pointers on 42 attempts.

Stoudemire added 22 points and 12 rebounds in his second game after missing 13 with a sore back. Jeff Teague scored 23 for Atlanta, and Johnson had 22.

Knicks coach Mike Woodson gave Chandler the day off after New York played seven games in 11 days, and he was missed. The Knicks entered the game allowing 118.5 points in two games without Chandler and 93.8 when he plays.

Landry Fields, who moved into the starting lineup at forward Sunday, and Anthony scored 12 points each in the third quarter, and the Knicks made 7-of-8 3-pointers in the period to take a 94-93 lead. Fields finished with 18 points in a rare start.

The Hawks hold the No. 5 spot in the East and still have hopes of securing home-court advantage in a likely first-round matchup against the Celtics.

The Knicks are a half game ahead of Philadelphia for the No. 7 spot in the East.

NOTES: Knicks forward Jared Jeffries missed his third straight game with a sore right knee, and Woodson said he will not play in the last two regular-season games Wednesday against the Clippers and Thursday at Charlotte. … Knicks uber-fan Spike Lee was at the game.

Knicks’ Mike Bibby Makes Contribution at Point Guard

With Deron Williams and Jordan Farmar out, the Nets split most of their point-guard minutes between Sundiata Gaines and Armon Johnson, both D-League veterans. For the Knicks, Mike Bibby started for an ill Baron Davis, and he was backed up by Toney Douglas.

Gaines (18 points, 6 assists) was one of the Nets’ best players and Johnson, fighting for a contract through the remainder of the season, added 6 points in the Knicks’ 104-95 win.

Both Bibby, a beleaguered veteran, and Douglas, an inconsistent youngster, were afterthoughts during the Linsanity Era. The position is the Knicks’ Achilles’ heel as they march confidently toward the playoffs.

Bibby finished plus-18 and may have stated his case for being a part of the playoff rotation, chipping in a season-high 8 assists and adding 8 points (his most since Jan. 7). Bibby, who has the reputation of being a defensive liability, struggled trying to contain Johnson and Gaines, but hit shots at critical junctures and, more often than not, he made the right pass.

“I believe in Mike Bibby,” Coach Mike Woodson said. “He doesn’t move that swift or up and down the floor as quickly as he used to. In games like this you need a stable guy out there who can direct traffic, and he played a lot of minutes. I thought he was solid all the way through in terms of running our offense.”

Woodson coached Bibby with the Atlanta Hawks and respects his postseason pedigree. Bibby was a high-scoring point guard for five consecutive Sacramento Kings playoff teams. While his production may have fallen off a cliff the way Wile E. Coyote does, Woodson’s continuing faith in him has generated reciprocal respect.

“There’s a big trust factor,” Woodson said. “I spent three years with Mike. We broke through with that Atlanta team with Mike running the point guard. The first year and then the next two years we were able to go to the second round with Mike running the point guard. So there’s a big time comfort level with Mike.”

Before the game, Bibby said he disagreed with the Hawks choosing not to renew Woodson’s contract in 2010. “I just think he got a raw deal in Atlanta,” Bibby said. “Win 53 games and don’t get hired back. You know, it’s kind of hard for me to fathom.”

Bibby’s performance against the Nets an in Tuesday’s win over the Celtics qualify as small steps in a positive direction.

“Last game was probably the first time this season I felt comfortable out there as far as handling the ball and getting the guys involved,” Bibby said of the victory over the Celtics.

If Bibby cracks the playoff rotation, the Knicks will cross their fingers that a player who has five 40-point games and 35 30-plus scoring games on his résumé can rediscover his jump shot.

“In Sacramento,” Bibby said. “I was scoring 20 points a game.

“Here, it’s a different role for me.” he added, explaining that his assignment is to set up shooters like Steve Novak and the rest of their teammates. “And when the time comes, I knock down the open ones.”

Bibby will turn 34 in mid-May, and the Knicks hope their season will still be in progress.