Hawks lock up final East playoff spot

Hawks lock up final East playoff spot
Hawks forward Paul Millsap gets his hand on a shot by Miami guard Dwyane Wade in Atlanta on Saturday. (John Amis / Associated Press)

at Atlanta 98, Miami 85:Jeff Teague scored 25 points, Lou Williams had 18 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and the Atlanta Hawks earned the Eastern Conference's final playoff spot with a 98-85 victory over the Miami Heat on Saturday night.

Atlanta's third straight victory eliminated the New York Knicks from playoff contention. Williams scored the Hawks' last 12 points.


LeBron James finished with 27 points and Dwyane Wade, in his first game since missing nine straight because of a sore left hamstring, scored 24 for Miami.

The two-time defending champion Heat, which has lost three of four, gave up the ground it gained in the standings Friday by beating Indiana at home and taking a one-half game lead over the Pacers. Miami and Indiana are now tied atop the Eastern Conference with 54-26 records.

The Heat's 85 points were its third-fewest this season.

at Dallas 101, Phoenix 98: Monta Ellis matched his season high with 36 points and Dirk Nowitzki scored 21 of his 23 during a second-half rally that carried the Mavericks back to the playoffs in a victory against the Suns.

at Houston 111, New Orleans 104: James Harden had 33 points and 13 assists and the Rockets rallied for a win over the Pelicans to stay in fourth place in the Western Conference standings.

Boston 111, at Cleveland 99: Rookie Kelly Olynyk matched a career high with 25 points and the short-handed Celtics defeated the Cavaliers. The Celtics built a 33-point lead early in the fourth quarter before Cleveland's reserves cut into the margin.

at Washington 104, Milwaukee 91: Bradley Beal scored 26 points, and the Wizards moved a step closer to claiming the No. 6 seeding in the Eastern Conference with a win over the Bucks, whose loss guaranteed they will finish with at least a tie for the worst record in the NBA.

at Denver 101, Utah 94: Kenneth Faried scored 24 points and pulled down 21 rebounds in the short-handed Nuggets' come-from-behind win over the Jazz.

at Charlotte 111, Philadelphia 105: Al Jefferson continued his dominating play with 29 points and 12 rebounds, and the Bobcats defeated the 76ers for their sixth win in seven games.

at Clippers117, Sacramento 101

— associated press