Miami falls to 35-20 for the season and 13-18 on the road and while they have a favorable schedule and a welcome return home, there’s no denying that the team is now mired in a disturbing slump that is featuring porous defense down the stretch. Their fifth loss in six games, all on the road and with the lone win against the NBA-worst Golden State Warriors, came against a team that had only won 15 games this season entering tonight’s game.
Young was unstoppable throughout, no matter who guarded him, and the Hawks early on proved that this game would be a dogfight until the end. The young guard knocked down 8-of-15 shots from beyond the arc and 18-of-19 free throws as he led the Hawks with a 20-point performance in the fourth quarter that stunned the Heat despite the best efforts of Bam Adebayo - who tried his best to contain Young in crunch time.
Adebayo finished with an impressive 28 points, a season-high 19 rebounds and seven assists for the Skills Challenge champ. All five starters finished with double-figures, though Duncan Robinson was a non-factor tonight, going 1-8 from 3-point territory. Goran Dragic led the reserves with 19 points and Solomon Hill made his Heat debut playing 14 minutes and chipping in three points, three rebounds and a steal.
The reinforcements of Andre Iguodala and Jae Crowder, who started his first game as a member of the Heat in place of Derrick Jones Jr., have helped the Heat fortify their depth with Meyers Leonard and Tyler Herro continuing to sit with injury but it hasn’t translated to wins since the trade.
Miami looks to get back on track at home against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night in what will be an emotional game with Dwyane Wade’s jersey retirement ceremony at halftime.