Current Hawks players Kyle Korver (26) and Paul Millsap (4) combined for 49 points against the former Jazz team. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBA Standings: Atlanta Hawks Reclaim Final Playoff Spot and One-Game Lead Over New York Knicks

The New York Knicks capitalized on Wednesday night with a win coupled with an Atlanta Hawks loss to move into the eighth and final playoff spot in the East, however they blew a costly game Friday with a home loss against the playoff-bound Wizards while it was the Hawks who capitalized this time as they beat the Cleveland Cavaliers and reclaimed the final playoff spot, along with a one-game lead over the Knicks in the standings.

Atlanta earned a blowout home victory over Cleveland 117-98, meanwhile New York choked at home against Washington 90-89.

Carmelo Anthony had a chance to hit the game-winning basket for the Knicks trailing by one point in the final 10 seconds but the opportunity slipped away (literally) as he lost the dribble and nearly turned it over as it was battered around and picked up by teammate J.R. Smith who heaved up a desperation 3-point attempt at the buzzer that bounced off the left side of the rim. It was by far Melo’s worst game of the season, as he finished with only 10 points on 5-of-14 shooting — he didn’t hit a 3-pointer or attempt one free throw the entire game.

The Hawks now hold a one-game edge over the 9th-place Knicks and a three-game advantage over the 10th-place Cavaliers.

As Hawks play-by-play man Bob Rathburn points out, Atlanta also owns tie-breakers over both New York and Cleveland:

Atlanta has seven games left in the season, while New York and Cleveland each have five remaining. All three teams are in action on Sunday.

Check back later for a detailed post on the race for 8th place.

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