After keeping things close and even leading at times, Miami collapsed in the fourth dropping a winnable game with playoff ramifications.
It was Bam Adebayo who would get Miami on the board first with his solid mid-range game. Bam was everywhere for Miami early delivering on both offense and defense.
Trevor Ariza, Duncan, and Nunn all got going on offense too to thrust the Heat out to a 12-0 run. It’s always nice when you’re getting a good Kendrick game, and he was fantastic early with 10 points in the first quarter.
Still, even without Trae Young, the Hawks were efficient keeping things close with good minutes from Huerter and Bogdanovic. This didn’t stop in the second quarter, but Gallinari got in on the fun to steal the lead back from Miami.
Bam brought back some bully ball, doing work from inside and Herro even hit some good looks, but the Hawks shot impeccably from the field (61%) to take a 7 point lead.
Jimmy and Dedmon would score quickly and consecutively to get the Heat right back within striking distance. Jimmy stayed aggressive losing a three-point opportunity in the last few minutes of the first half, but setting the tone as he drew a charge seconds later.
The Heat had an impressive scoring run to end the half, 14-6 but the Hawks would keep a one-point lead heading into the second half.
Kendrick Nun continued his offensive assault to get the Heat out five to start the second half off his fourth three. Nunn didn’t stop there, slashing to the rim for easy buckets. The Heat managed to jump out to a solid lead scoring the first eight of the quarter, but once again it was Bogdanovic and Huerter hitting threes to pull back within one.
Thankfully, Nunn and Robinson continued their sharp shooting to keep the Heat ahead, but not by much. Gallinari would steal the lead back forcing Jimmy to try and will Miami back into the lead.
He’s not flashy, so he doesn’t get a ton of credit, but Miami’s addition of Dedmon has been fantastic. He’s aggressive and creates so many second chance opportunities for the six.
Trailing by nine, the Heat has no answers offensively to start the fourth quarter. They’d get no help from Atlanta who continued their hot shooting running up their lead to 14.
The Hawks couldn’t do anything, with everyone but Jimmy Butler seemingly imploding. Miami didn’t even seem to attempt a box-out with the Hawks destroying the Heat on second-chance scores. On offense, Miami forced looks and didn’t even try to motion for high percentage shots.
Jimmy did what Jimmy usually does in trying to will the Heat on a late-game run, but it just wasn’t enough. This was a very winnable game for the Heat, and this might be a very costly loss considering the tiebreaker. Very disappointing.