Hawks top Heat 98-85, get East's last playoff spot

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 12, 2014 at 10:23 pm •  Published: April 12, 2014
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ATLANTA (AP) — Jeff Teague says he never doubted the Atlanta Hawks would be in the playoffs.

Even with Al Horford's season-ending injury in December and a 1-14 stretch in February and March, the Hawks made the Eastern Conference field with two games remaining.

"I'm happy for all the guys," Teague said. "We worked so hard all year. Injuries and everything that can happen to a team happened. We were able to still make it to the playoffs."

Teague scored 25 points, Lou Williams had 18 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and the Hawks earned the East'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 with a sore left hamstring, scored 24 for Miami.

The two-time defending champion Heat, who have lost three of four, gave up the ground they 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 their third-fewest this season.

"It's not finished," James said. "I see the standings. There's a couple games left and the seeding is changing every day."

James and Chris Bosh returned to the floor with 6:42 remaining and Miami trailing 81-72, but DeMarre Carroll stole the ball from Bosh and Mike Scott's fastbreak dunk put Atlanta ahead by 11 with 6:09 remaining.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra called timeout to settle down his team, but James missed a jumper and Teague hit a free throw to make it 84-72.

James hit a 3 two possessions later, but Teague drove to the rim again for an 11-point lead, and Miami never got closer than eight the rest of the way.

Wade finished the first half with 16 points, going 7 for 7 from the field in just 11 minutes. He began the third quarter with an offensive foul, a missed jumper and hit one of two free throws, but he finished strong before sitting out the final 5:46 to rest.