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Hawks back in playoff contention

JeffTeague140319ShootsG300After losing 14 of their 15 games, the Atlanta Hawks made it clear on Tuesday NBA Action that they are still alive in the playoff contention as they extended their winning streak to five games, the longest of the season.

The Hawks, paced by Jeff Teague, overcame the Toronto Raptors 118-113 in overtime to continue in the eighth seed – the final playoff spot – in the Eastern Conference.

Teague sparked the Hawks with a game-best and his career-high 34 points as they improved their record to 31-35.

He told reporters after the game: “We wanted to win this game really bad.”

Hawks’ Paul Millsap recorded the first triple-double of his career with 19 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists helping Atlanta past the Raptors for the second time in three meetings this season.

DeMar DeRozan finished with 29 points for the Canadian franchise who will host the Hawks on Sunday 23 March for the final regular-season game between the two teams.

Before they travel to Toronto, the Hawks will take on the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday.

In the other game between two Eastern Conference teams, the reigning champions Miami Heat closed the three-game series unbeaten with a 100-96 victory at Cleveland Cavaliers.

LeBron James put on a show against his former team by finishing the first half with six three-pointers en rout to a game-high 43 points for the Heat, who trail the Indiana Pacers for the best record of the season in the East.

Jarrett Jack scored 22 points for the Cavs, who played without Luol Deng who suffered a sprained ankle and Kyrie Irving, sidelined with a strained biceps tendon.

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