The Miami Heat scored 38 points in the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Hawks Saturday night. Atlanta rested Al Horford, Jeff Teague and DeMarre Carroll. Still, Miami fell behind by 18 points and could never cut the deficit to fewer than four points until a Mario Chalmers 3 at the buzzer in a 93-91 loss.
We can go through the many problems the Heat racked up on a winnable night -- like last night's disappointing loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. The Heat struggled to score 30 points in the first half. Miami missed 15 consecutive shots in the first half before a Chalmers 3 stopped a historically bad drought. The Heat committed a season-high 23 turnovers and shot below 40 percent from the field.
Even so, Atlanta's mishaps helped Miami have a chance. Kyle Korver shot just 2-of-7 from beyond the arc, and the Hawks committed 20 turnovers themselves. Chalmers and Goran Dragic attacked the basket to help Miami trim the deficit to start the fourth quarter, and a couple Luol Deng free throws got the Heat to within 79-74 with 4:49 left. But the Heat's next two possessions featured a bricked Henry Walker 3 attempt and a turnover from Hassan Whiteside. And on the other end of the floor, Dennis Schroder made a layup before Paul Millsap knocked down a corner 3 to put Atlanta up 84-74 with 3:40 left.
Whiteside stood as Miami's top performer, finishing with 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field and 24 rebounds -- and that's the second time this season Whiteside has grabbed that many boards. Whiteside also stayed out of foul trouble on a night Chris "Birdman" Andersen was out with an illness. It was frustrating to see Whiteside make a roll to the basket and see Heat players shoot instead of feeding him down low. The 7-footer took eight shots, and eight of his boards were offensive. He should get the ball far more often. He has post moves and can get the Heat high-percentage shots -- something the Heat desperately needed tonight.
Instead, Walker took 16 shots and only made three of them. Walker was 2-of-11 from beyond the arc. Walker played well in his previous three games, but he should not take 16 shots unless he's making everything. For a reference point, Dwyane Wade took 17 shots and finished with a team-high 22 points. Wade spearheaded a frantic Miami rally late in the fourth quarter with some nice floaters but turned out to be too little, too late.
Wade and Whiteside did their jobs, but Deng didn't score until the fourth quarter. Dragic shot just 2-of-7 from the field, and Spoelstra benched him to close the fourth quarter. Chalmers and Michael Beasley -- the former goofball rookies with the Heat -- shot a combined 9-for-25. But maybe performances like these are just ones we should come to expect with Chris Bosh out for the season. This team is missing a huge cog, and the other players can't replace that.
The Heat will host the Phoenix Suns Monday night at 7:30.