NBA: Hawks hold Raptors, Rockets falter while Warriors storm past Spurs

Jeff Teague #0 of the Atlanta Hawks loses the ball as he drives against Kevin Love #0 of the Cleveland Cavaliers at Philips Arena on April 1, 2016.
Jeff Teague #0 of the Atlanta Hawks loses the ball as he drives against Kevin Love #0 of the Cleveland Cavaliers at Philips Arena on April 1, 2016.PHOTO: AFP/ GETTY IMAGES

(REUTERS) - The Atlanta Hawks avoided a series sweep by the Toronto Raptors to hold onto first place in the South-east Division.

Jeff Teague converted a late three-point play and finished with 23 points as the Hawks defeated the Raptors 95-87 to remain a half-game ahead of the Miami Heat and third overall in the Eastern Conference with a week left in the regular season.

Meanwhile, P.J. Tucker and Mirza Teletovic shared the offensive load and Phoenix dealt a severe blow to Houston's fading post-season hopes with a 124-115 victory.

Tucker finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds while Teletovic added 26 points off the bench. Tyson Chandler scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and it was his dunk that capped a late 12-0 run for the Suns (21-58), who snapped a seven-game slide.

James Harden paced the Rockets (38-41) with 30 points and dished out seven assists while Trevor Ariza chipped in 22 points. The Rockets, who are 11/2 games behind Utah for eighth in the Western Conference, lost for the seventh time in 10 games.

Elsewhere, the Golden State Warriors clinched the home-court advantage through the NBA play-offs on Thursday night, riding a strong defensive performance to a 112-101 victory over the San Antonio Spurs in a historic meeting of the league's top two teams.

Stephen Curry had a game-high 27 points and the Warriors (70-9) held the Spurs (65-13) to 19 field goals in the first 30 minutes of the first-ever regular-season meeting of teams with 65 or more wins.