In a possible preview of the first round of the NBA Playoffs, the Miami Heat emerged victorious 113-109 in a scrappy regular-season home finale against the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night at the FTX Arena.
Miami was down by four points with just over three minutes left but used a 10-2 run to close the game out to seal the victory. They are now on a six-game winning streak, their longest of the season, with just one game left in the regular season.
Though the Hawks had plenty more to play for as they jostle for seeding in the upcoming play-in tournament, the No. 1 seeded team in the Eastern Conference still chose to play all of their regular starters except for the injured PJ Tucker. It’s possible that Miami was trying to avoid the Brooklyn Nets in the first round and preferred to have their complete team available to help hand the Hawks another loss.
Bam Adebayo led the team with 24 points, Jimmy Butler chipped in 20, Kyle Lowry had 16, and Tyler Herro closed with 15 points — including a 30-foot 3-point dagger with a minute and a half left in the game to help grab the win.
Lowry also made a great play at the end, able to freeze Bogdan Bogdanovic at the 3-point line and then feed Bam for the easy dunk.
Trae Young led the Hawks with 35 points, but his questionable shot selection during crunch time gave the Heat the opening they needed to steal the win and he scored just four points in the fourth quarter and shot 2-12 in the second half. Bogdanovic started shooting hot from the field early in the game and finished with 25.
Dewayne Dedmon hobbled off the court in the second half after spraining his ankle, but soon returned to the bench and would have returned to the game if needed, according to coach Erik Spoelstra — who himself returned to the bench after being away from the team due to COVID protocols.
Miami closes out the season on the road against the Orlando Magic on Sunday.