The Miami Heat lost to the Atlanta Hawks in a play-in game on Tuesday night, putting their playoff hopes in jeopardy.
Despite a second-half rally, the Heat could never pull closer than six points in the fourth quarter.
The Hawks' victory advances them to the playoffs and sets up a first-round series against the Boston Celtics.
The loser of Friday's game will be eliminated from the playoffs.
The winner will advance to play the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks in a first-round playoff series starting on Sunday.
The Heat struggled with second-chance points and rebounding.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra acknowledged the team's challenges this season and stressed the importance of regrouping for the upcoming game.
The Heat will need to win on Friday to keep their playoff hopes alive.