cloudy
Wednesday February 10th, 2016 3:43AM

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

By The Associated Press
ATLANTA -- 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.

"It was good, better than I can envision," Wade said. "When you're out so long, you're just thinking of getting your wind back. I think the best thing that happened was the first play of the game, getting that block and then LeBron kind of holding up and letting me get the first dunk. From there, I kind of was into the game."

The Hawks never trailed after Teague's 12-footer made it 53-51 early in the third.

Carroll finished with 17 points, and Paul Millsap added 11. Scott scored 12 points in a reserve role, joining Williams to help Atlanta's bench outscore Miami's 35-8.

Bosh finished with 11 points.

"Needless to say that was a tough second half," Spoelstra said. "We couldn't get it going on either side of the court. It's disappointing to have this type of performance on the road."

Miami visits Washington on Monday and end the regular season at home Wednesday against Philadelphia. The Pacers host Oklahoma City on Sunday and visit Orlando on Wednesday to close the regular season.

Atlanta hosts Charlotte on Monday and visits Milwaukee on Wednesday. As the No. 8 seed, the Hawks will play either Miami or Indiana in the first round of the playoffs.

"I'm happy that we get to play more games and I get to talk more about improving and getting better each practice," Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer said. "We want to build something here. Miami has been in the Finals for three years in a row. There are a lot of teams that have had a lot of success. It takes time to build your habits."

NOTES: A moment of silence was held before the game following the death Friday of Lou Hudson, the six-time All-Star with the Hawks who retired in 1979 and still ranks as the franchise's third-leading scorer. ... The Hawks are wearing a black stripe on their uniform to acknowledge Hudson's passing. ... The Heat dropped to 22-18 on the road. ... The Hawks improved to 24-16 at home. ... Atlanta is in the playoffs for the seventh straight year, longest active streak in the East.
© Copyright 2016 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
2014 Top 10: Looking back at the top sports stories of the year
It was another year for the record books in 2014, mostly for the right reasons -- state championships, new challenges and new stars taking their turn to shine. But there were also plenty of big stories that reminded us that sports -- like life -- isn
11:55PM ( 1 year ago )
NASCAR K&N Pro Series schedules set for 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - NASCAR announced recently the 2015 schedules for its top developmental regional touring series, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
2:00PM ( 1 year ago )
Lanierland boys final: Johnson makes history with win over Red Elephants <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Ever the aggressor on the court, Johnson
8:55AM ( 1 year ago )
Sports
Pits will be tight as Chili Bowl entry count hits 316
TULSA, OK - The 29th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals presented by General Tire is on track to be a record smashing event, with the entry count climbing over the 300 mark for the first time to 316 entries confirming 303 drivers for the indoor spectacular happening Tuesday, January 13 through Saturday, January 17 at the Tulsa Expo Center in Tulsa, OK.
9:59AM ( 1 year ago )
Falcons fire Mike Smith after 2nd straight losing season
Mike Smith's status as the winningest coach in Falcons history wasn't enough to save his job. Owner Arthur Blank said he fired Smith on Monday because in his "heart of hearts" he didn't believe Smith could take the Falcons to the Super Bowl.
7:58PM ( 1 year ago )
New promoters in place for 2015 at Senoia Raceway
SENOIA, GA - Lease papers have been signed and a team of new promoters is in place for the upcoming stock car racing season at Senoia Raceway in Senoia, GA.
6:00AM ( 1 year ago )
Professional Sports
(VIDEO) 8-AAAAA tournament: GHS boys advance, Falcons drop heartbreaker in quarterfinals
The ingredients were there Tuesday for Flowery Branch to cook up the first upset of the Region 8-AAAAA boys tournament....
9:07AM ( 5 hours from now )
8-A tournament: Lakeview surges past Athens Academy into semifinals
The Lakeview Academy boys basketball team cruised into the Region 8-A semifinals on Tuesday courtesy a 64-48 defeat of Athens Academy in Athens.
By AccessWDUN Staff
11:57PM ( 3 hours ago )
8-A tournament: Lady Lions move into region semifinals
The Lakeview Academy girls basketball team picked up a victory in the first round of the Region 8-A tournament on Tuesday in Athens.
By AccessWDUN Staff
11:36PM ( 4 hours ago )
(UPDATE) Basketball: 7-AAA, 8-AAAA games postponed due to weather; rescheduled for Wednesday
Both the Region 7-AAA and Region 8-AAAA basketball tournament games scheduled for Tuesday night have been postponed due to impending inclement weather and rescheduled for Wednesday. However, all Region 8-AAAAA contests slated for Gainesville High on Tuesday are still on as scheduled, as are Region 8-A games for Lakeview Academy boys and girls at Athens Academy.
By AccessWDUN Staff
11:20PM ( 4 hours ago )
Lawsuit alleges Tennessee has 'hostile sexual environment'
A lawsuit filed by a group of women alleges that the University of Tennessee has violated Title IX regulations and created a "hostile sexual environment" through a policy of indifference toward assaults by student-athletes.
By The Associated Press
10:49PM ( 4 hours ago )