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Hawks unable to close gap, fall to Miami Heat 117-109

Miami Heat v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Adam Hagy/NBAE via Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks suffered a defeat at the hands of the Miami Heat in a home contest on Saturday night. Starting for the Hawks were the usual players: Trae Young, Dejounte Murray, De’Andre Hunter, Jalen Johnson, and Clint Capela. The Heat started with Kyle Lowry, Jamie Jaquez, Duncan Robinson, and Haywood Highsmith. Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro, and Caleb Martin were listed as unavailable before the game.

The Hawks had a slow start, quickly falling behind 10-5 before a timeout called by Quin Snyder. Bam Adebayo scored a quick eight points while the Hawks struggled offensively. Wes Matthews entered the game for his first minutes as a Hawk late in the first quarter. Quin Snyder received his first technical foul of the year in a disagreement over a charge call on Wes Matthews, and the Hawks unsuccessfully challenged the call. The Heat stifled the Hawks offensively and outplayed them across the board, taking a 41-24 lead after the first quarter.

The poor play continued into the second quarter as the Hawks increased their turnover total to eight, looking relatively lost offensively. Bam Adebayo imposed his will in the mid-range, bringing his total to 16. The Heat outscored the Hawks 26-12 in the paint midway through the second quarter. The deficit remained between 16-19 points for most of the quarter.

With under a minute in the half, the Hawks caught fire. Dejounte Murray hit back-to-back three-pointers, and Jalen Johnson followed it up with another three after a pass from Trae Young.

They narrowed the lead to just eight, but Jamie Jaquez dashed their hopes by hitting a three, pushing the lead back to 11 as time expired. Jaquez had accumulated 14 points in the first half, while Dejounte Murray led the way for the Hawks with 11.

Dejounte Murray began to shine in the third quarter, scoring nine points in the first five minutes. However, the Hawks were plagued by numerous mental mistakes, preventing any significant reduction in the deficit. A three-pointer from Trae Young brought the game within single digits.

Miami then went on a 10-0 run, increasing the deficit to 17. With over two minutes remaining in the third quarter, the Hawks had already accumulated 18 turnovers. Wes Matthews scored back-to-back three-pointers at the end of the quarter, and a Trae Young layup brought the score to 93-82 in favor of the Heat entering the fourth.

The initial minutes of the fourth quarter mirrored the narrative of the preceding three quarters, with the deficit hovering around 10-13 points and the Hawks struggling to overcome it. In a moment of frustration, Trae Young received a technical foul after a no-call with just under four minutes to play. The Heat extended their lead to 14 with the technical free throw.

Trae Young strung together a few shots, along with some successful free throws, to keep the Hawks’ hopes within reach. The Hawks continued to battle, eventually cutting the lead to 6 thanks to free throws from Trae Young. Two free throws from Kyle Lowry sealed the game on the following possession. Trae Young and Dejounte Murray combined for 50 points, while Bogdanovic and Hunter were the other two in double figures.

Two days after playing in Mexico City, fatigue appeared to play a factor in this loss.