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Young leads Hawks to playoffs by beating Wizards

Young leads Hawks to playoffs by beating Wizards

Star Trae Young scored 33 points and John Collins hit a 3-pointer with 24 seconds left and the Atlanta Hawks beat the Washington Wizards 120-116 in the NBA on Wednesday to secure the Hawks’ first place in the playoffs since 2017.

“I felt like I hadn’t gotten the recognition and the guys on my team hadn’t gotten the recognition that we deserve,” Young said. “But that comes with winning … We are here now (in the playoffs).”

Atlanta entered the game tied for fourth in the Eastern Conference and is looking to solidify home-field advantage in the first round.

That is yet to be determined, but the Hawks are definitely heading to the playoffs after going through massive rebuilding work that still appeared to be a work in progress when the team fired coach Lloyd Pierce shortly before the All-Star break while they were. with a negative record of 14-20.

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Under interim coach Nate McMillan, who should receive strong consideration in the coach of the year vote, the Hawks have hit a 25-11 record to now be a dangerous opponent in the postseason.

Star Russell Westbrook had 34 points and 15 assists, but it wasn’t enough to prevent another excruciating loss for the Wizards.

The Wizards continue to rank 10th in the East, good enough to take last place in the NBA’s new play-in mini-tournament to seek the eighth spot among the 7th to 10th place occupants in the Conference.

Two nights after breaking Oscar Roberson’s record for “triple-double” with his career number 182, Westbrook fell slightly below 183, limited to five rebounds.

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– Mavs one step away from avoiding ‘play-in’ –

In Dallas, Slovenian Luka Doncic scored 33 points, Kristaps Porzingis added 19 on his return from injury and the Mavericks took a big step to avoid the play-in tournament with a 125-107 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Pelicans were eliminated from the postseason while playing without four starters. Lonzo Ball was scratched with a strained right thumb, joining Zion Williamson (broken left hand), Brandon Ingram (sprained left ankle) and Steven Adams (sprained toe).

The Mavericks (41-29) can clinch at least the sixth seed in the Western Conference playoffs with a win in either of their two remaining regular-season games against a pair of already eliminated teams like Toronto and Minnesota.

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Dallas also avoided the play-in tournament with a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, who were playing the worst Houston in the NBA.

Eric Bledsoe and Jaxson Hayes each scored 15 points for the Pelicans, whose hopes were hit hard last week when the club announced that Williamson was out indefinitely. Williamson and Ingram have averaged a combined 51 points per game. (AFP) (NBA)

– Wednesday’s NBA results:

Atlanta Hawks to Washington Wizards 120-116

Brooklyn Nets to San Antonio Spurs 128-116

Portland Trail Blazers beat Utah Jazz 105-98

Cleveland Cavaliers 102-94 Boston Celtics

Dallas Mavericks to New Orlenas Pelicans 125-107

Los Angeles Lakers to Houston Rockets 124-122

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