The Miami Heat visited the Atlanta Hawks Saturday with each team playing a fourth game in a five nights. The hungrier Hawks exuded effort for all 48 minutes and clinched a playoff berth with the 98-85 win.
Jeff Teague led the way for Atlanta with 25 points. Lou Williams scored 23, 18 of those in the deciding quarter. DeMarre Carroll scored 17 with help from a trio of three-pointers. Paul Millsap added 11 and eight rebounds.
The Heat got Dwyane Wade (hamstring) back after a nine-game absence, and he scored 24 points in a strong showing. However, Miami fell flat in the second half and managed only 36 points on 36 percent shooting.
LeBron James led all scorers with 27 points, and Chris Bosh tallied 11. The Heat missed 19 three-pointers, 10 free throws and committed 20 turnovers to only 13 for Atlanta.
The Hawks seemed like a team battling just to get into the postseason as Miami waned down the stretch. With Atlanta's win, the ninth-place New York Knicks were eliminated from playoff contention in the East.
The Hawks host the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday before finishing in Milwaukee on Wednesday. They are four games behind Charlotte for seventh, so they are assured of facing the top seed in the first round.
The Heat fell back into a tie with the Indiana Pacers for first place at 54-26, except Indy holds the tiebreaker. They visit the Washington Wizards on Monday before closing the regular season at home with the Philadelphia 76ers.