The Rundown: Hawks, Lakers secure playoff seats

Published April 12, 2023, 5:00 PM ● Jon Carlos Rodriguez

The Hawks and the Lakers emerged victorious in the Play-In Tournament and booked their respective tickets to the postseason.


Hawks 116, Heat 105

Lakers 108, Timberwolves 102

What went down

The Miami Heat, ranked seventh, were favored to win against the eighth-ranked Atlanta Hawks. Entering the game, the Heat did look like the better team, the better equipped to take care of business.

As soon as the ball got rolling though, the Hawks went rocking. The rebounding department was owned by Atlanta, outrebounding Miami, 63-39.

The win sent the Hawks to a direct flight to the playoffs as the seventh spot, setting up a date with the Boston Celtics. The Heat will have another shot at making the playoffs and will face the winner of the Toronto Raptors-Chicago Bulls matchup.

For the Western Conference, it’s LA that made it through for the first play-in spot. The Timberwolves didn’t make it easy for them. The Wolves held on to an 11-point at halftime, but Dennis Schroder (21 points) woke up and made a run by himself in the second half.

Schroder hit a go-ahead basket in the closing seconds of regulation, but a foul by Anthony Davis on Mike Conley sent the game to overtime.

In OT, LeBron James (30 points, 10 rebounds, six assists) led the way to carry the team to win by six points. The Lakers will face the second seed Memphis Grizzlies for what should be an interesting matchup.

Big-time ballers

Talk about unexpected heroes. When the LA Lakers were in danger of losing the seventh spot in the playoffs, Dennis Schroder stood tall.

Schroder scored 18 points in the second half alone to lead the Lakers in beating the Timberwolves. Call him Big Shot Dennis:

If only the Heat won, then Kyle Lowry’s 33 points would’ve been big-time. But as fate would have it, the Hawks were the better team. Trae Young led Atlanta in clinching seventh with 25 points.

Clint Capela was dominant with 22 rebounds, grabbing every loose ball there was.

What he said 

Schroder’s game-winner in regulation was rendered useless after Anthony Davis’ foul on Mike Conley. AD knew what he did:

Did you see that?

The Lakers and the Hawks were winners of today’s play-in, but the biggest winner wasn’t on any of the team rosters—it’s the Hawks social media team: