Devin Harris

Devin Harris scored a season-high 25 points and Josh Smith nearly added a triple-double Monday night as the Atlanta Hawks beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 102-94 to improve their chances of securing home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

Smith had 18 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists before a sparse crowd in Philips Arena to help the Hawks (42-33) pull within one game of Brooklyn (42-31) for fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

Reserve Marreese Speights scored 14 of his 22 in the final quarter, but the Cavs (22-51) did not seriously threaten after pulling within 58-56 early in the third period.

Shaun Livingston, starting with Kyrie Irving not playing in the second night of a back-to-back, had 14 points and six assists in Cleveland’s ninth straight loss.

Harris, who scored 13 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s win over the visiting Magic, picked up where he left off. He scored Atlanta’s first seven points and had 11 in the first quarter as the Hawks built a 25-19 lead…

Al Horford returned to start at center for Atlanta after missing two games with a stomach illness. He had 16 points and six rebounds before fouling out in the fourth quarter.

– Reported by Matt Winkeljohn of the Associated Press