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Atlanta Hawks clinch top seed in Eastern Conference

Atlanta's win over the Miami Heat combined with Cleveland's loss in Brooklyn clinches the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference for the Hawks.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks clinched the No. 1 seed and homecourt advantage in the Eastern Conference playoffs Friday thanks to a win over the Miami Heat combined with a Cleveland Cavaliers loss in Brooklyn.

DeMarre Carroll finished with 24 points while Paul Millsap added 21 to lead the Hawks past the Heat. It was Atlanta's 55th win of the season which is just two shy of the franchise record of 57. With nine games remaining, the Hawks can focus on getting everyone healthy while preparing for the playoffs.

Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez scored 20 points each to lead the Nets over the Cavaliers. The win keeps the Nets just a half game behind the Boston Celtics for the eighth and the final playoff spot in the East.

The Hawks will be paying close attention to the race for the eighth seed over this final stretch. The Heat, Celtics, Nets, Pacers and Hornets are separated by just 2.5 games in the standings. As an added bonus, Atlanta has the rights to swap draft picks with Brooklyn and could come away with not only the No. 1 seed but with a lottery pick to boot.