NBA scores 2014: Hawks, Mavericks earn playoff berths

Jerome Miron, USA TODAY Sports

The playoff picture became clearer Saturday night after two more teams locked in their spots.

It was another big night for NBA playoff implications with two teams clinching berths to the postseason.

Atlanta Hawks 98, Miami Heat 85

The Atlanta Hawks punched their ticket to the playoffs with a win over the Miami Heat. Dwyane Wade's return to the Heat's lineup was trumped by a great effort from Jeff Teague. The Hawks' point guard went off for 25 points, leading the team to their seventh straight playoff berth.

More on the Hawks

The Hawks sealing the No. 8 seed means the New York Knicks have been eliminated from playoff contention.

Wade had a great game, scoring 24 points on 14 shots and looking fresh-legged after missing nine games. LeBron James scored a game-high 27 points. Miami struggled with taking care of the ball, turning the ball over 20 times. Their three-point shooting was also out of sync, making just six of their 25 attempts.

The Heat slide back down to the No. 2 seed in the East for now. The Hawks are in and the Knicks are out.

Goodnight, sweet Knicks:


Dallas Mavericks 101, Phoenix Suns 98

Welcome back to the playoffs, Mavericks. Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis came up huge in Dallas to hold off the Phoenix Suns. Dallas locked in their spot in the Western Conference playoffs and delivered a crushing blow to the Suns' chances. Phoenix isn't eliminated, but they'll need to win their remaining two games and also need the Memphis Grizzlies to lose to either Dallas or the Lakers in order to find their way back to the playoffs.

Ellis had a monster game, scoring 37 points and making big plays through the fourth quarter. He struggled at the line, though, and Phoenix wasn't out of the game until the final possession. Markieff Morris chucked up a desperation three in an attempt to force overtime but was well off the mark.

Game, Mavericks.

Los Angeles Clippers 117, Sacramento Kings 101

The Clippers are flirting with franchise history this season, tying the organization's record for most wins in a single season after notching their 57th victory. Los Angeles' big dogs rolled over the Kings. Chris Paul finished with 17 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds. Blake Griffin scored a team-high 29 points along with nine assists. DeAndre Jordan scored 21 points with nine rebounds.

The Clippers dominated the Kings in transition, scoring 25 fast break points. More importantly, however, there were plenty of dunks from Blake Griffin. Proof:


If it's wrong to like that, I don't want to be right.

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Houston Rockets 111, New Orleans Pelicans 104

The Rockets beat up on a team missing roughly all of their starters, but a win is a win and Houston helped solidify their playoff seeding. James Harden scored 33 points, and the Rockets went bonkers in the fourth quarter to escape an embarrassing loss. The Rockets outscored the Pelicans 39-22 in the fourth quarter.

But really, what's going on, Houston? One night after giving up 51 points to Corey Brewer their defense was thrashed by an extremely shorthanded Pelicans squad.

No Anthony Davis. No Tyreke Evans. No Eric Gordon. No Jrue Holiday. Austin Rivers, Luke Babbit and Anthony Morrow all broke 20 points for the Pellies.

Washington Wizards 104, Milwaukee Bucks 91

The Wizards beat the Bucks, but the real winner here? Terrible pass GIFs:

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It was an ugly game, but someone had to win. It just so happened to be the Wizards prevailing after the teams combined for 34 points in the fourth quarter. The result most likely had something to do with Bradley Beal scoring 26 points and the Bucks turning the ball over 20 times.

Denver Nuggets 101, Utah Jazz 98

The Nuggets were held to 34 points through the first half but turned it around through the second. A 37-29 fourth quarter sealed the win for Denver. Kenneth Faried had an impressive 24 point, 21 rebound night and led the shorthanded squad to victory. Randy Foye scored a game-high 26 points.

Charlotte Bobcats 111, Philadelphia 76ers 105

Big Al Jefferson dropped 29 points and grabbed 12 rebounds and sent former Bobcat Byron Mullens packing. Luke Ridnour started in place for Kemba Walker and finished with 12 points and eight assists.

For Philly, it was just another loss. High-fives for Michael Carter-Williams who put in 23 points on 7-for-11 shooting.

Boston Celtics 111, Cleveland Cavaliers 99

Kelly Olynyk scored 20 points. Not in the entire game, but by halftime. He ended the night with 25 points, matching his previous career-high. Kyrie Irving turned in a 3-of-15 shooting night in the loss. It's nearly time to call it a season and work on the next installment of the Uncle Drew series, perhaps.

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