Photo Courtesy of Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images
The Atlanta Hawks officially clinched a playoff spot in Wednesday’s 120-116 win over the Washington Wizards giving the team their first playoff appearance since 2017.
Trae Young and John Collins led a fourth-quarter comeback against an eager Wizards team fighting for a play-in spot after trailing a majority of the game. The Hawks fell behind by as much as 13 throughout the fourth quarter before Collins and Bogdan Bogdanovic sparked a 9-0 run bringing the game within reach midway through the quarter.
Collins hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 24 seconds left and the Hawks finished the game off with free throws. Trae posted a near triple-double as both he and Russell Westbrook ended the game with 30-plus points.
The Hawks clinching a playoff spot and not falling back into the play-in means everything with the team suffering from injuries all season. The team now has extra days to rest bodies going into the playoffs with De’Andre Hunter, Cam Reddish, and Tony Snell all recovering.
Heading into today’s game against the Magic, the Hawks have control over the fourth seed with a half-game lead over the Heat and Knicks. It’s ideal the Hawks wrap up the last two games of the season with wins in hopes of retaining the fourth seed and gaining home-court advantage heading into the playoffs.