NBA: Hawks beat champions Heat to grab final play-off spot in the East

Atlanta Hawks guard Jeff Teague (0) is defended by Miami Heat guard Toney Douglas (0) during the fourth quarter at Philips Arena. The Hawks won 98-85. The Atlanta Hawks clinched the eighth play-off spot in the Eastern Conference on Saturday, Apr
Atlanta Hawks guard Jeff Teague (0) is defended by Miami Heat guard Toney Douglas (0) during the fourth quarter at Philips Arena. The Hawks won 98-85. The Atlanta Hawks clinched the eighth play-off spot in the Eastern Conference on Saturday, April 12, 2014, as Jeff Teague scored 25 points in a 98-85 win over the defending champions Miami Heat. -- PHOTO: REUTERS / USA TODAY SPORTS

ATLANTA (AFP) - The Atlanta Hawks clinched the eighth play-off spot in the Eastern Conference on Saturday, as Jeff Teague scored 25 points in a 98-85 win over the defending champions Miami Heat.

Lou Williams scored 23 points for Atlanta, who claimed the final play-off berth in their conference.

Atlanta had a 25-21 record on Feb 4 but went into a 6-20 tailspin before winning six of its last eight National Basketball Association games.

"It's satisfying to get a win and be in a groove that we're in," Williams said.

The Hawks qualified for the post-season for a seventh straight season. They scored 29 points off 20 Miami turnovers.

Dwyane Wade scored 16 first-half points on a perfect seven-for-seven shooting. He finished with 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting for the Heat, who are tied with the Indiana Pacers for the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

Wade missed his last nine games because of a hamstring injury.

LeBron James posted 27 points, eight rebounds and five assists in defeat.

The game was tied 49-49 at half-time and 51-51 before DeMarre Carroll capped a 7-1 surge with a three pointer from the left side for a 58-52 Hawks lead with 7min 26sec left in the third quarter.

Miami never got within four the rest of the game.

Besides the two sides, the other qualifiers from the East are Washington, Charlotte, Toronto, Brooklyn, Indiana and Chicago.