- Associated Press - Friday, April 4, 2014

ATLANTA (AP) - A hot-shooting night has the Atlanta Hawks back in sole possession of a playoff spot.

Poor shooting cost the Cleveland Cavaliers in a game they desperately needed.

Mike Scott ended a scoring slump with 26 points and the Hawks beat Cleveland 117-98 on Friday night in a costly setback for the Cavaliers‘ late-season playoff push.

Atlanta moved one game ahead of the New York Knicks, who lost to Washington 90-89, in the race for the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Hawks had lost seven of eight but recovered with strong games by Scott and Jeff Teague, who had 20 points and 12 assists.

“All year and under a lot of difference circumstances we’ve said we like our group and they’re resilient,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said.

“They played with a lot of focus and effort and attention to detail and all the things we really talk about every night.”

Cavaliers coach Mike Brown was unhappy to see his team struggle with so much on the line.

“They kicked our behind from the beginning to the end,” Brown said.

The Cavaliers lost an opportunity to move within a game of eighth place. Entering the game, Cleveland had won five of six but fell three games behind the Hawks with only five games remaining in the regular season.

Brown was discouraged but stopped short of saying the Cavaliers couldn’t recover from the loss.

“No, it doesn’t feel like it’s over but the loss is very, very disappointing,” Brown said. “The way we lost it looked like we weren’t playing for much out there.”

Dion Waiters led Cleveland with 23 points. Spencer Hawes had 16 points and 10 rebounds and Kyrie Irving and Luol Deng each had 13 points.

Scott made 12 of 13 shots from the field. The backup forward had a combined 16 points in his past four games. He topped that with 18 in the first half.

“Finally,” Scott said. “I was in a little shooting slump. I just kept being aggressive and kept getting extra shots and they finally fell.”

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