Jeff Teague scored 25 points to lead the Atlanta Hawks to a 107-88 rout of the reeling Indiana Pacers, who were held to a club record low of 23 points in the first half of an embarrassing performance on their home floor on Sunday.
The NBA’s best home team have now lost four of five and fell a full game behind the Miami Heat in their quest for the No. 1 playoff seed in the Eastern Conference.
At the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Paul George scored 18 points and David West had 17 on a night in which All-Star center Roy Hibbert sat out the last 30 minutes.
The Pacers could not get closer than 13 after falling into a 14-point hole midway through the first quarter. The team’s previous low in first-half points a was 27 against the Los Angeles Clippers on Nov. 10, 2004.
The Hawks have won three of four and extended their lead over the Knicks for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference to two games after New York lost to Miami on Sunday.
The Heat survived a three-point barrage from J.R. Smith to deal the Knicks’ playoff hopes a big blow with a 102-91 victory, in which LeBron James scored 38 points and Mario Chalmers added 15 for Miami.
Smith had a Knicks-record 10 three-pointers on an NBA-record 22 attempts to finish on 32 points, while Carmelo Anthony managed only 13 points on four-for-17 shooting.
In other games with playoff implications, the Phoenix Suns toppled the Oklahoma City Thunder 122-115 to pull a game ahead of the Memphis Grizzlies for the No. 8 playoff spot in the West, while the Dallas Mavericks kept their playoff position by beating the Sacramento Kings 93-91.
Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant scored 38 points in his 41st straight game of 25 or more, but Phoenix got 26 points from Goran Dragic and 24 from Gerald Green to seal the win.
Durant moved ahead of Michael Jordan with the third-longest such streak in NBA history and longest since Oscar Robertson did it for 46 in a row in the 1963-1964 season.
P.J. Tucker scored a career-high 22 points for the Suns, who took the season series from the Thunder 2-1.
The Mavericks won the fourth in five games to stay in seventh place in the Western Conference after their fifth straight road victory.
Monta Ellis scored eight of his 23 points in the fourth quarter, Vince Carter added 17 points and Dirk Nowitzki had 15 points for Dallas.
Meanwhile, Memphis lost ground in the Western playoff race with a 112-92 loss to the San Antonio Spurs in which Kawhi Leonard matched his career high with 26 points and Manu Ginobili had a season-high 26 for the Spurs, who lost Tony Parker to back spasms in the first quarter.
Elsewhere in the NBA, the Portland Trail Blazers clinched their first playoff appearance in three seasons with a 100-94 win over the New Orleans Pelicans and the Los Angeles Clippers pulled within one game of Oklahoma City in the West with a 120-97 rout of the Lakers.
Also, the Golden State Warriors beat the Utah Jazz 130-102 to move 19 games over .500 for the first time in 20 years, as the Rockets rallied to beat the Nuggets 130-125.