John Collins drilled a go-ahead 3-pointer with 24.8 seconds left to complete an Atlanta Hawks comeback and a 120-116 victory over the visiting Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.
The result had playoff implications for both teams as all of their rivals battling for playoff position had the night off.
The Hawks (39-31) moved a half-game ahead of Miami (38-31) and New York (38-31) in their battle for the No. 4 playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, which carries with it home-court advantage in the first round.
Meanwhile, the loss prevented the Wizards (32-38) from clinching a spot in the East play-in tournament, keeping Chicago (29-40) alive. Washington also lost a half-game to Charlotte (33-36) and Indiana (33-36) in their duel for the eighth, ninth and 10th play-in berths.
The Wizards, playing once again without injured Bradley Beal, rallied from an eight-point, first-quarter deficit and turned it into as much as a 13-point lead late in the third period.
Seeking a fifth win in their last six games, the Hawks scratched back within 116-114 on a Bogdan Bogdanovic 3-pointer with 2:33 to play, before both teams went cold.
With the Wizards failing to score in the game's final 2:43, Atlanta then had four chances to tie or go ahead, but two turnovers and missed 3-pointers by Bogdanovic and Trae Young allowed Washington to retain its slim advantage until Collins connected on his lead-changing 23-footer.
Raul Neto couldn't connect on a short jumper that would have put Washington back in front with 16.7 left, after which Solomon Hill buried two free throws and Kevin Huerter one to account for the final margin of victory.
Young paced Atlanta with 33 points and nine assists. Bogdanovic finished with 20 points, Collins 18 and Onyeka Okongwu 11, while Clint Capela recorded a double-double with 17 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
Russell Westbrook, who had recorded triple-doubles in each of his previous five games, put up game-highs in points with 34 and assists with 15, but had just five rebounds for the Wizards, who have gone just 5-5 in their last 10 games.
Daniel Gafford added 16 points, Davis Bertans and Neto 14 apiece, and Rui Hachimura 11 for Washington, while Alex Len grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds to complement six points.
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