Basketball: Hawks and Warriors step up a gear to move on to conference finals

Atlanta Hawks guard Jeff Teague (right) dribbles past Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (left) during the first half in game six of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Verizon Center. -- PHOTO: USA TODAY SPORTS  
Atlanta Hawks guard Jeff Teague (right) dribbles past Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (left) during the first half in game six of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Verizon Center. -- PHOTO: USA TODAY SPORTS  

WASHINGTON - The Atlanta Hawks advanced to the NBA semi-finals for the first time in 45 years with a 94-91 win over Washington in game six on Friday after the referee waved off Paul Pierce's three-pointer at the buzzer.

The Hawks will face LeBron James and the second-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers who eliminated the Chicago Bulls on Thursday.

"We made just enough plays down the stretch," said Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer.

In the late game, Stephen Curry made eight three-pointers for the Golden State Warriors, who join the Hawks in the next round after defeating the Memphis Grizzlies 108-95 in game six of their Western Conference series.