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Five Stars: Hawks douse Heat

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Dwight Howard shut down Hassan Whiteside and earned the First Star in Atlanta’s eight-point win over the Heat.

NBA: Miami Heat at Atlanta Hawks Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Five Stars is a Hot Hot Hoops exclusive series where we dig deeper into the box score and rank every player to appear in every Heat game. The top five players, no matter which team they play for, are the Five Stars. This article focuses on Miami’s 103-95 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday.

First Star

Dwight Howard (ATL) 29.8

Dwight Howard led the Hawks with 23 points in 35:05 on the court. He drained nine-of-11 shots from the field and five-of-six from the foul line, with 17 rebounds, seven of them offensive. He added four assists, two blocks, a steal, and a plus-16 rating.

All we've been thinking about since the last game was how we can come in and get this game. I though our effort and our energy were in the right place, and we got a win. - Howard

Second Star

Tyler Johnson (MIA) 24.0

Johnson came off the bench for the Heat to play 35:13, ranking third on the club behind Hassan Whiteside (35:42) and Wayne Ellington (more on him below). Aside from Willie Reed, who went two-for-two, Johnson was the only Heat player to shoot 50% or better, making eight-of-16 from the field, including four-of-five from outside. he knocked down seven-of-eight from the stripe, with five helpers, two rebounds, a steal, a game-high 27 points, and a plus-4 rating.

Third Star

Paul Millsap (ATL) 22.2

Millsap started for the Hawks and played 32 minutes, making eight-of-12 shots from the field, missing both of his three-pointers and five of his six free throw attempts. He earned a game-high plus-21 rating with his 21 points, with nine rebounds, four steals, three blocked shots, and two helpers.

Fourth Star

Dennis Schroder (ATL) 15.1

Schroder made eight-of-15 shots overall and one-of-two from outside for 17 points in 30:59. He added seven assists, four rebounds, a block, a steal, and a plus-5 rating.

Fifth Star

Wayne Ellington (MIA) 13.6

Ellington made the Five Stars for the second time this season, playing a game-high 40:39. He made seven-of-15 shots overall and four-of-nine from three-point distance. He drained his only free throw, with three boards, two helpers and a minus-14 rating.

Nightly Notable

Miami was outscored in each of the first three quarters before finally getting serious in the fourth. They were outscored by four in the first, three in the second, and eight in the third before scoring 32 points to the Hawks' 25 in the fourth.

Wednesday’s Worst

Josh McRoberts, Derrick Williams, and Hassan Whiteside combined to score 13 points on six-of-22 shooting, with 19 rebounds, four assists, three blocks, one steal, and an average GameScore of -0.9.

We’re working with what we have right now. Guys are giving their all right now. I'm proud of our guys. They're doing their best. - Whiteside