Apr 20, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks power forward Josh Smith (5) celebrates with center Jason Collins (34) during the first half against the Boston Celtics at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-US PRESSWIRE

Celtics Vs. Hawks: Atlanta Takes Down Shorthanded Boston 97-92

The Atlanta Hawks defeated the Boston Celtics 97-92 to take the lead in the race for homecourt advantage.

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2012 NBA Standings: Hawks Have Leg Up On Celtics For Homecourt

Atlanta's 97-92 win over an undermanned Boston Celtics team on Friday night might not have been the most impressive victory of the season but it has given the Hawks a little bit of breathing room in the race for homecourt in the first round of the playoffs.

Atlanta is now a season-high 13 games over .500 at 38-25 and 1.5 games ahead of the Celtics. At 37-27 Boston is two full games behind the Hawks in the loss column. Boston is guaranteed no worse than the fourth seed due to its status as Atlantic Division champ but homecourt is determined by whichever team has the better record.

Here is a look at the complete up to the minute conference standings entering play on Saturday:

Team Win/Loss GB
1. Chicago Bulls 47-16 --
2. Miami Heat 45-17 1.5
3. Indiana Pacers 41-22 6.0
4. Boston Celtics 37-27 10.5
5. Atlanta Hawks 38-25 9.0
6. Orlando Magic 36-26 10.5
7. New York Knicks 33-30 14.0
8. Philadelphia 76ers 32-30 14.5
9. Milwaukee Bucks 29-33 17.5

Atlanta has three games remaining in the regular season beginning with Sunday's matchup against the New York Knicks at Philips Arena.


Hawks Schedule

remaining schedule

New York Sun 04/22 1:00 PM EDT
Los Angeles Clippers Tue 04/24 7:30 PM EDT
Dallas Thu 04/26 8:00 PM EDT

For more on the Atlanta Hawks check out Peachtree Hoops. For more news and notes from around the NBA head over to SB Nation's NBA Basketball page.

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Hawks Vs. Celtics Final Score: Atlanta Defeats Boston, 97-92

The Atlanta Hawks defeated the Boston Celtics in a potential playoff matchup 97-92, and even though the win puts the Hawks 1.5 games ahead of the Celtics in the Eastern Conference standings the Hawks are still the No. 5 seed since the Celtics lead the Atlantic Divison. After a strong first half, the Celtics made a run in the third quarter to make it a three point game heading into the fourth quarter.

The Celtics made it interesting in the fourth quarter but the closest the Celtics would get would be one point, and each time that happened the Hawks would extend the lead to a few points. The Hawks put the game away on a 7-2 run to lead by six points with 1:29 left in the game before ultimately winning by five points.

The Hawks offense did fairly well tonight and they were saved by their three-point shooting which was 9-for-17 on the night as well as their free throws, both were more than the Celtics and was the difference in the win.

Joe Johnson led all scorers with 30 points and Josh Smith scored 19 points, pulled down 12 rebounds and had three blocked shots.

For more on this game Hawks fans should visit Peachtree Hoops and Celtics fans should check out CelticsBlog. For more news and notes from around the NBA head over to SB Nation's NBA Basketball page.

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Hawks Vs. Celtics Halftime Score: Atlanta Leads Boston 58-49

In a potential first round playoff matchup the Atlanta Hawks are getting the best of the Boston Celtics at the half and lead 58-49. At the moment the Hawks are percentage points ahead of the Celtics for home court and tonight's winner will have the No. 4 spot in the Eastern Conference.

Both teams offense are on fire with each shooting 60.5 percent and 22-of-38 from the field, but the reason the Hawks are up by nine points is that they have made six more free throws and have made three more three-point shots.

Joe Johnson is leading the way for the Hawks with a game-high 23 points on 9-of-12 shooting including going 3-of-4 from three-point range, and Josh Smith has chipped in with 10 points. The Celtics also have two players in double figures with Avery Bradley scoring 17 points and Keyon Dooling has 10.

Neither offenses are going to continue shooting 60 percent from the half, so which ever teams defense can step up and make some stops will probably win this game. However, the Hawks have a nine-point cushion to work with.

For more on this game Hawks fans should visit Peachtree Hoops and Celtics fans should check out CelticsBlog. For more news and notes from around the NBA head over to SB Nation's NBA Basketball page.

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Celtics Vs. Hawks: Atlanta Center Zaza Pachulia Out With Foot Injury

The Hawks will be without center Zaza Pachulia for tonight's pivotal matchup against the Boston Celtics, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Pachulia has missed the last three games with a sprained left foot. He did not take place in the morning shoot-around and head coach Larry Drew ruled him out. Pachulia averages 7.8 point and 7.9 rebounds in 28.3 minutes per game. Drew did not know how much longer he would be out.

Backup center Eric Dampier did participate in the shoot-around but is a game-time decision, according to Drew. Dampier missed the last game with a calf injury.

The Hawks enter Friday's game virtually tied with the Celtics in the standings, but Boston has one more loss and has played one more game. A win tonight would move Atlanta alone into fourth place, which brings home-court advantage in the first round.

For more on this game Hawks fans should visit Peachtree Hoops and Celtics fans should check out CelticsBlog. For more news and notes from around the NBA head over to SB Nation's NBA Basketball page.

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Celtics Vs. Hawks: Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce Expected To Sit Out Friday

Even though there is some meaning to Friday night's matchup between the Atlanta Hawks and the Boston Celtics, it appears that Doc Rivers is going to rest some of his veteran players. Neither Kevin Garnett or Paul Pierce is expected to play tonight even though a Hawks victory will put them in the drivers seat in the race for home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

Rivers left himself room to change his mind in regards to Pierce and Garnett but the Hawks will likely be facing a team tonight that looks much different than it will when the playoffs start next weekend.

For more on this game Hawks fans should visit Peachtree Hoops and Celtics fans should check out CelticsBlog. For more news and notes from around the NBA head over to SB Nation's NBA Basketball page.

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Celtics Vs. Hawks Time, TV, Radio Info And More

The winner of Friday night's matchup between the Atlanta Hawks and the Boston Celtics will likely emerge with homecourt advantage when the playoffs begin next weekend.

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