ATLANTA (AP) - Joe Johnson scored 30 points, and the Atlanta Hawks edged the short-handed Boston Celtics 97-92 on Friday night to take a step toward landing homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
The Hawks (38-25) are in line to be the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference, and Celtics (37-27) are on track to be No. 5. This, however, looked nothing like a playoff game early.
Both teams shot over 50 percent and Atlanta took a 58-49 halftime lead while Boston guard Avery Bradley scored 17 of his career-high 28 points.
Boston left Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen and Mickael Pietrus at home with injuries, and perennial All-Stars Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce made the trip to Atlanta but Celtics coach Doc Rivers rested both stars after playing 11 games in 15 days.