The Cleveland Cavaliers looked well on their way to clinching the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference on Sunday.
A Cavaliers victory would have secured the top spot in the East heading into the NBA playoffs, and that seemed like a forgone conclusion when Cleveland held a 26-point lead heading into the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Hawks.
But the Hawks would mount a furious comeback, erasing the seemingly insurmountable deficit en route to a 126-125 overtime victory at Philips Arena.
You can see the highlights from the epic rally in the video below.
Atlanta wasn’t the only winner as a result of Sunday’s outcome, though. Cleveland’s defeat also kept the Boston Celtics’ No. 1 seed hopes alive as the regular season comes to a close.
The C’s and the Cavs now both hold 51-29 records to sit atop the East, but by virtue of the tiebreaker, Cleveland still owns the No. 1 seed.
All the Cavaliers have to do to clinch the top spot in the East is win one of their two remaining regular-season contests. However, Cleveland’s opponents in those last two games certainly provide optimism for the Celtics.
Sunday marked the first of a back-to-back for the Cavs, as they will travel to Miami for a Monday night matchup with the Heat. Miami has given Cleveland trouble this season, as it has won two of the three contests between the two teams this season.
The Cavaliers will then finish their regular season Wednesday night when they host the Toronto Raptors. The Raptors have been one of the powerhouses in the East this season, as they currently are just 1.5-games behind both Cleveland and Boston.
If Boston has any hope of claiming the No. 1 seed, it must earn victories in its final two games of the regular season. Both contests will take place at TD Garden, as they’ll host the Brooklyn Nets on Monday, followed by a Wednesday night showdown with the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Celtics aren’t expected to have too much trouble with the lowly Nets, but the Bucks have given Boston trouble throughout the regular season.
With major playoff positioning at hand, these final few days of the NBA regular season are sure to be exciting.
Thumbnail photo via Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports Images
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