Lakers, Hawks Clinch Playoff Spots, Heat and Timberwolves Still Hoping

The first night of the Play-In tournament is in the books. The Atlanta Hawks and the Los Angeles Lakers are the 7th seeds in their respective conferences and will jump into the Playoffs.

The Atlanta Hawks were five-point underdogs going into the game against the Miami Heat, but they had control of it from the tip-off. The Hawks won 116-105 and will face the Boston Celtics in the opening Playoff round in the Eastern Conference. The Heat and the Hawks met last year in the opening Playoff round with Miami advancing in 5 games. This time, things were way different as Quinn Snyder managed to take the Hawks to the Playoff only months after taking over the head coaching job.

Trae Young was the best player on the winning team scoring 25 points. He also added 8 rebounds and 7 assists but shot only 1 of 8 from deep and had 5 turnovers. Clint Capela did a great job under the rim, grabbing 21 rebounds. The Hawks bench played a major role in this win as the four reserves combined for 53 points, led by Saddiq Bay with 17 points.

The Hawks had 24 more rebounds than the Heat and dominated the game despite shooting only 24.4% from the three-point line.

Jimmy Butler was not on top of his game for the Heat scoring 21 points which is under his season average. Veteran point guard Kyle Lowry dropped 33 points off the bench, his highest-scoring game since he joined Miami. Tyler Herro had 26 points and was the only Heat player besides Lowry to shot above 50% in the game.

The season is not over yet for the Heat who will face the winner of the game between the Toronto Raptors and the Chicago Bulls for the last Playoff spot in the East.

In the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Lakers needed an overtime to go past the Minnesota Timberwolves, 108-102. The Wolves had the lead from the tip-off but failed to score in almost 7 minutes in the last quarter which cost them the game. The Lakers took over the lead with 1.4 seconds left in the game when Dennis Schroeder hit a corner three. Anthony Davis committed a foul with 0.1 left in the game on Mike Conley Jr. three-point attempt. Conley Jr. made all three free throws to send the game to overtime.

The Lakers limited the Wolves to 4 points in overtime to win and get the 7th seed in the West which leads them to a first-round matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies.

LeBron James led the Lakers with 30 points and 10 rebounds in 45 minutes. Anthony Davis finished with 24 points and 15 rebounds while Schroeder had 21.

The Timberwolves had major issues going into this game after their starting center Rudy Gobert was suspended for this game. Jalen McDaniels and Naz Reed were also out with injuries.

Karl-Anthony Towns led the Wolves with 24 points and 11 rebounds and Conley Jr. scored 23. Anthony Edwards was the weak link in this game as he finished with 9 points on 3 of 17 shooting.

The Timberwolves will have another shot at reaching the Playoffs as they will face the winner of the game between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

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