Josh Smith scored 23 points and the Atlanta Hawks clinched home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs, racing to a 23-point lead in the opening quarter on the way to a 106-89 victory over the Dallas Mavericks in the regular-season finale Thursday night.
The Hawks (40-26) wrapped up the fourth-best record in the East and host Boston on Sunday. The defending NBA champion Mavericks (36-30) open the playoffs Saturday at Oklahoma City.
Atlanta pounced on the Mavericks right from the tip, making 16 of 23 shots (69.6 percent) in the opening period. Smith scored 12 points, grabbed seven rebounds, dished out five assists and had a steal. A 28-7 run, capped by Willie Green's 3-pointer, pushed the lead to 36-13.
Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks with 22 points.
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