While it took a while for the Heat offense to click, their defense was outstanding for all 48 minutes. Miami held Atlanta to 38.7 percent shooting and 27.8 percent from beyond the arc, forcing 18 turnovers to just 16 Hawks assists while accumulating 12 steals.
Miami made it miserable for All-Star guard Trae Young all afternoon; Young had arguably the worst performance of his NBA career, holding him to a season-low eight points on 1-of-12 shooting and 0-of-7 from deep with six turnovers. He’s only had two other NBA games in his career with one made field goal on 10-plus attempts, the last being in Jan. of 2021 against the Jazz (1-11 FGA).
Throughout the afternoon, the Heat mixed up the coverages and threw the kitchen sink at Young, not allowing to build any semblence of rhythm regardless of where he was on the floor.
Meanwhile, on the other end, Duncan Robinson led the Heat with a playoff career-high 27 points on 8-of-9 shooting from deep — including an electrifying four-point play to put the Heat up 28 with 8:54 left in the final period, sending the 19,514 inside FTX into a roar.
Jimmy Butler finished with 21 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals, shooting 9-of-15 from the floor despite clanking five of his seven free throw attempts; P.J. Tucker tallied 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting — including a perfect 4-of-4 from downtown — with five rebounds in 24 minutes; Kyle Lowry had 10 points and nine assists on 4-of-8 shooting.
Collectively, the Heat canned 18 3s on 38 attempts — good enough for a 47.4 3-point percentage — their most made 3s in a playoff game since netting a franchise-most 20 3s in Game 1 of last year’s forgettable first round series against the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Hawks had three double figure scorers, led by Danilo Gallinari, who had 17 points on 5-of-12 shooting in 29 minutes. DeAndre Hunter had 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting; in his first game back from injury, John Collins tallied 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting in 21 minutes.
One down, three to go? Stay tuned.
Next up: Game 2 on Tuesday night.