With Paul Millsap back on the floor, Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer likes his team's chances to get in the playoffs.
"At some point, we just needed to win a game, and I think that's where our focus is," Budenholzer said. "These are good teams in these next games that will prepare you for the playoffs."
Millsap scored 26 points in a reserve role, Tim Hardaway Jr. added 23 and Atlanta snapped a two-game skid with a 123-116 victory over the visiting Boston Celtics on Thursday night.
Isaiah Thomas scored 35 points, Jae Crowder had 24 and Marcus Smart 18 for the Celtics. They have dropped two in a row after winning five of seven.
Rookie Taurean Prince finished with a career-high 20 points, and Dennis Schroder added 18 for Atlanta. The Hawks had lost nine of 11.
Millsap, recovering from a knee injury, credited steady ball movement and strong pick-and-rolls with his team's strong night offensively.
"That's how we've got to play," he said. "This is our team, and if we continue to do that, we'll be able to score."
Boston fell 1½ games behind Cleveland for the East lead, but is still two games ahead of third-place Toronto. Fifth-place Atlanta, which led by 20 in the third, moved one-half game ahead of Milwaukee. The regular season ends and the playoffs start next week.
Washington 106, New York 103: Bradley Beal scored 25 points and made the tiebreaking three-pointer with 49 seconds left as the Wizards beat the host Knicks. Washington improved to 48-31, tying Toronto for third place in the East, and is trying for its first 50-win season since 1978-79.
Chicago 102, Philadelphia 90: Jimmy Butler had a triple- double with 19 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists and helped give the Bulls' playoff hopes a needed boost by beating the host 76ers. Chicago and Indiana both won to improve to 39-40, and Miami (38-40) had the night off in the chase for the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Durant nears return: Warriors All-Star forward Kevin Durant (left knee injury) has been medically cleared to resume full practice beginning Friday and is scheduled to play in Saturday's home game against New Orleans if he experiences no setbacks.