Friday April 10, 2009
ATLANTA (AP) -- Josh Smith scored 30 points and Joe Johnson had 24 to help the Atlanta Hawks clinch the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference with a 122-118 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Friday night.
Al Horford finished with 22 points and 15 rebounds as the Hawks earned home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Atlanta needed either a win or a loss by Miami, which fell by seven in Boston, to wrap up the No. 4 spot.
Indiana, which had won two straight and four of five, was eliminated from playoff contention.
The Hawks won their third straight, all against sub-.500 teams, and are assured of home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs for the first time since winning a best-of-five series against Detroit in 1999.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)