Taurean Prince led the Hawks in scoring with 18 points while Trae Young put up a double-double with 17 points and 10 assists.
For the Heat, Josh Richardson scored 22 points and had five steals while Dwyane Wade added 18 points.
The Hawks looked like they were in a great position in this game...and they were. After an excellent second quarter where the Hawks outscored the Heat 33-14 and led by as many as 19 points and as many as 14 to begin the final period, the Heat rallied in the fourth quarter with a 14-0 run to take the lead at 108-107 with five minutes remaining.
Basketball is a game of runs and this game had a ton of them. Once the Heat reeled that run off, the Hawks went on one of their own in what was ultimately a game-defining run as they went on a 7-0 run to leave the Heat with too much to do with a minute and a half remaining.
Let’s take a look at what they did to get it done.
Kent Bazemore got the run started with this great dribble-move to get by Wayne Ellington and he hits the jumper to give the Hawks back the lead:
The Heat would then get some good looks at shots but didn’t take advantage.
Kelly Olynyk got a good look at a three that would’ve given the Heat the lead but it just didn’t fall:
Josh Richardson was next to get a good luck at a three after a screen from Olynyk but couldn’t convert from the outside:
The Hawks also had some good defensive possessions during this stretch, defending well on this possession as Richardson drives inside and has his shot blocked, Wade’s put-back is no good:
The Hawks extended their lead — having somehow prevented the Heat from re-taking the lead — as Kent Bazemore misses on the drive, Dewayne Dedmon is there to tuck back the second chance opportunity to push the Hawks lead to three:
After a Hawks turnover and a missed shot by Richardson, Trae Young splits a pair of free throws before the Hawks, again, defend well as the outside shot from Rodney McGruder is well contested near the end of the shot clock, DeAndre’ Bembry is able to get his hands in to deflect the ball and prevent the interior pass after the offensive rebound and it ends up with John Collins, who takes the ball all of the way to the rim to put the Hawks up by seven points leading to a timeout:
You love to see Bembry getting his hands on that pass and equally, if not more, love to see Collins’ confidence to take it himself in transition and then finish with the finger-roll.
With the score now 114-107 with a minute and a half left, the Hawks had built up the cushion they needed and though the Heat did make a late rally, their comeback fell short with this three-point attempt from Josh Richardson:
“Although we definitely wanted to win by a bigger margin, I think we ended it the right way: with a defensive stop,” said rookie Trae Young. “That’s what we’ve been focusing on in practice before games, focusing on both ends. I think it ended the right way.”
A very good look for Richardson in terms of openness (a bit of a travel) but couldn’t hit it and the Hawks survived.
“I told our guys I thought we deserved to win that game,” said Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce postgame. “Our guys competed and played well, pretty much from start to finish. You’re in Miami, Spo (Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra) does a great job of keeping his guys fighting, we knew they were going to make a push and they turned their defense up and put a lot pressure on us. Our guys, they stayed together, stayed the course, they continued to fight. (Richardson’s) Open shot at the end kind of went our way but we’ll take it.”
After snapping a 10-game losing streak against the Hornets, the Hawks snapped a seven game losing streak on the road last night and these last two victories for the Hawks have helped relieve the pressure.
“Just trying to get over that hump, it’s a burden,” said Pierce of winning two in a row, “You’re not trying to figure out how to win, now you can relax ... we knew once we got the first one we could relax a little bit, the guys’ spirit and energy were a lot better. So tonight, just the way we started the game was better right from the jump, going into the half up 16 was because of that energy, that spirit, that togetherness that our group showed...”
Trae Young enjoyed a great game on the road as he was able to slice-and-dice the Heat open and create opportunities for his teammates time and time again.
Young registered 10 assists to just three turnovers, this pleased Pierce greatly.
“We’ll take that every single night,” said Pierce.
Last night saw Young and Collins link up on a few occasions, which is always an encouraging sight for Hawks fans.
Here, Collins and Young link up in this 2-man play, with Young eventually collapsing the defense and finding Collins at the rim for the score:
Some slip action here by Collins on this next possession, Young threads it through as Whiteside is a little too slow to challenge Collins for the alley-oop slam:
And for Young’s final assist of the night, again, he finds it all too easy to draw the Heat’s attention, opening up an opportunity to lift the ball over to Collins, who uses the glass to convert the lob:
“I love seeing my teammates succeed,” said Young postgame. “I’ve always said assists is my favorite stat because it takes more than just me to make a play. I think my teammates did a great job making plays tonight.
Omari Spellman also enjoyed a fine night as he scored 14 points, hitting two threes and all four of his rebounds came on the offensive end, including this put-back jam near the end of the third quarter:
Kevin Huerter continued his new role at starting shooting guard and he scored eight points.
The Hawks (5-16) are back in action tonight as part of a back-to-back against the Charlotte Hornets at Spectrum Center.
Kemba Walker is always fun to watch, and can the Hawks go for three in a row?
We shall see...