The Heat is in slow motion to start the match (1/8 on shots, 3 losses of balls) and the Hawks take the opportunity to quickly take an 11 point lead. The first quarter therefore logically turns in favor of the premises (27-21), skillful (11/19) and timely against a stunned team.
But Erik Spoelstra’s men, however, do not let their opponents hope for too long: with a second quarter of 35 points at 48% on shots (11/23), they return to the match very quickly. Conversely, the Hawks lose the wire in attack (7/24 on shots) and are exceeded at the score at half-time (56-51).
The substitutes are in the spotlight on these first 24 minutes since Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson accumulate 28 points off the bench for the Heat, when the returning De’Andre Hunter compiles 13 points at 4/8 on shots on the Hawks side.
After the break, the Heat wiggles the knife in the wound and sticks a… 19-2 in five minutes to the Hawks, including 4 award-winning shots, to increase their lead to +22 (75-53). The premises are rung, the spectators of the State Farm Arena disillusioned. The Hawks spent the remainder of the second half chasing behind the score, in vain, despite a brief hope of « comeback » five minutes from the final buzzer (-13). It is the ninth consecutive loss at home for the squad of Nate McMillan, increasingly close to an internal crisis.
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– The Return of De’Andre Hunter after 26 games of absence caused by an operation on the right wrist. In 24 minutes off the bench, he scored 15 points (including 13 in the first half) at 4/11 on shots.
– No Heat player with a negative +/-. Eleven Miami players have walked the floor, nine of them have a positive +/- (the other two, Kyle Guy and Chris Silva, entered for 1 minute and 23 seconds of « garbage time », are zero). Proof of absolute collective domination.
TOPS / FLOPS
✅ Tyler Herro off the bench. Miami’s sixth man came close to the triple-double: 21 points, 11 assists and 9 rebounds. He took on the lead creator role brilliantly and sliced the Hawks’ defense through his choices. Another quality performance for the man who is certainly the best substitute in the league this season.
✅ Omer Yurtseven. Holder in the absence of Bam Adebayo, the former Georgetown feasts in the Heat system. Faced with a Hawks team deprived of Clint Capela, he caused damage: 13 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists.
✅ John collins. Frustrated with his role with those dysfunctional Hawks this season, Inside has been the home side’s most prominent player. He compiled 16 points and 11 rebounds at 6/9 on shots.
⛔️ Kevin huerter. Tough night for the old man from Maryland. Biggest playing time of his team when he came off the bench, he painfully compiled 7 points (2/9) and 4 assists.
⛔️ The Hawks’ third quarter. By conceding this 19-2 in five minutes, the Hawks have dug their own grave. The delay was subsequently too great and the Heat players too confident. Especially as on the attack side, it was not glorious either (16 points to 5/18…).
Heat (26-15) and Hawks (17-23) meet on Friday, this time in Florida.