Miami now fall into a first-place tie with the Indiana Pacers.
There were eight games on the NBA schedule on Saturday, but the story of the night was in Atlanta as the Hawks eliminated the New York Knicks from playoff contention.
While their rivals were not in action, the Hawks hosted the Miami Heat knowing that a win would end the nervous tension surrounding the team after their 1-14 stretch in February.
Atlanta made the Eastern Conference playoffs with two games remaining after defeating the reigning champions, and in turn they ended what has been a disappointing season for the Knicks.
Jeff Teague scored 25 points while Lou Williams put up 18 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter to secure a third consecutive win as LeBron James posted up 27 points in vain with Dwyane Wade returning in his first game since missing nine straight with a sore left hamstring.
Wade added 24 for the visitors, but it wasn’t enough as Atlanta weren’t to be denied in front of their home fans, and they will now look ahead to potentially facing the Heat again in the playoffs, provided that they don’t surrender the lead at the top again.
Meanwhile, over in the Western Conference, the Dallas Mavericks also secured their playoff berth after beating the Phoenix Suns.
The two teams have been in a battle along with the Memphis Grizzlies over the past fortnight for the last two spots in the West, and the Mavs have ensured that they will be extending their season while Phoenix drop a half-game behind Memphis.
Monta Ellis had 37 points as coach Rick Carlisle labelled his performance the “biggest game of the year”, while Dirk Nowitzki was instrumental too.
The win means that Dallas avoid a potential winner-takes-all final night clash against Memphis, although the pressure is on Phoenix as they will meet the Grizzlies on Monday night which will undoubtedly go a long way in deciding who takes the eighth and final playoff spot.
Sacramento Kings 101-117 Los Angeles Clippers
Philadelphia 76ers 105-111 Charlotte Bobcats
Milwaukee Bucks 91-104 Washington Wizards
Miami Heat 85-98 Atlanta Hawks
Boston Celtics 111-99 Cleveland Cavaliers
New Orleans Pelicans 104-111 Houston Rockets
Phoenix Suns 98-101 Dallas Mavericks
Utah Jazz 94-101 Denver Nuggets