Miami clinch playoff place with victory over Atlanta

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Miami Heat clinched a berth in the NBA playoffs with a narrow 101-98 win over the Atlanta Hawks.

Hassan Whiteside lifted the home side over Atlanta with less than a minute to go in the Tuesday night nail-biter.

The lay-up put Miami at 99-98, while Josh Richardson sank a pair of free throws with 0.6 seconds left to keep the score in the Heat’s favour.

Their 20th playoff spot in 30 seasons, Miami are pursuing their fourth title, having been crowned champions in 2006, 2012 and 2013.

Elsewhere, the Philadelphia 76ers nailed their 11th straight victory with a 121-95 domination of the Brooklyn Nets.

Ben Simmons scored 15 points and had 12 rebounds for the Sixers, who are on their way to the postseason for the first time in six years.

The Milwaukee Bucks are one win away from a playoff berth after closing out the Boston Celtics 106-102.

Currently at second place in the Eastern Conference, it was Boston’s first loss in six games.

LeBron James scored 27 points as the third-placed Cleveland Cavaliers rattled conference leaders the Toronto Raptors 112-106.

With the gap between the Raptors and Boston closing the Cavs are looking to jump ahead in the postseason.

Denver Nuggets’ playoff hopes got a fillip with a 107-104 win over the Indiana Pacers, helped in a big part by Nikola Jokic’s 30 points and a last-gasp three pointer by Jamal Murray.

Pacific Division winners and defending champions the Golden State Warriors denied Oklahoma City Thunder the chance to advance by beating them 111-107.

Western Conference bottom dwellers Phoenix Suns finally snapped a 15-game losing streak with a 97-94 win over the Sacramento Kings.

Orlando Magic limited the New York Knicks to just 28 points in the second half, beating them them 97-73 by the buzzer.

James Harden scored 38 points, had 10 rebounds and nine assists in the Houston Rockets’ 120-104 win over the Washington Wizards.

Utah Jazz’s Ricky Rubio also had a good game, scoring 31 in their 117-110 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Los Angeles Clippers edged out the San Antonio Spurs 113-110, with LA’s Lou Williams scoring 15 of his 22 points in the final quarter

The Dallas Mavericks saw off the Portland Trail Blazers 115-109, while the Chicago Bulls beat the Charlotte Hornets 120-114.

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