NBA

Evan Turner's last-second runner to beat the Hawks did more than just raise eyebrows across the NBA on Wednesday; it also could go a long way in helping his Celtics get into the playoffs.

Turner hit a running one-handed shot with 0.2 seconds remaining to give the Celtics a stunning 89-88 home victory over the Eastern Conference leaders. The fourth-year guard finished with 12 points, nine assists and seven rebounds in the win.

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Turner was one of five players in double figures for the Celtics, who shot 92 percent from the free-throw line. The Hawks had a rare off night from the charity stripe by hitting only 15 of their 23 attempts.

While the Celtics' 20-31 record heading into the All-Star break is far from pretty, it still puts them just 1 1/2 games behind the Hornets and Heat (22-30) for the final playoff spot in an extremely top-heavy East. With the victory over the Hawks, the Celtics have won seven of their last 12 games.

And the upset of one of the NBA's best could be a huge momentum boost for a team suddenly fighting for a postseason berth. Four of the Celtics' next five games after the break are against teams with losing records.

After everything is said and done this season, Turner's heroics

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against Atlanta could be viewed as a turning point.

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