The Atlanta Hawks (22-22) extend their winning streak to three games after dominating the Miami Heat (24-21) for their MLK day match.
The Hawks finally have their team together as prior to tip-off, their only inactive was Trent Forrest. As for the Heat, the same could not be said as they had many players featured on the inactive list including, Nikola Jović (lower back;stress reaction), Kyle Lowry (knee discomfort), Duncan Robinson (right 2nd finger surgery), and Ömer Yurtseven (left ankle surgery).
The opening quarter had seen the Hawks erupt for 38 points from extremely efficient shooting: 63.2% from the field and 57.1% from downtown. Meanwhile, the Heat were only contained to 26 points stemming from 47.8% shooting without a single make from the three. The Hawks continued to outscore their opponents in the second quarter (32-24), as they jumped out to a 28-17 run which allowed them to amount to a lead as large as 26 points at one point. The Hawks performance in the second is credited to their impressive shooting splits as they had improved drastically shooting 70% from the field and 80% from deep while holding the Heat to 36% shooting from the field and 36.4% from three. The Hawks concluded the first half with a 70-50 lead while having four different players already scoring in double-digits with Dejounte Murray’s 14 points leading the way. For the Heat, Jimmy Butler was their leading scorer with 14 points followed by Tyler Herro and Victor Oladipo’s 8 points each.
After having dominated the first half, the Hawks had opened the second quite stagnant as they struggled to score against the Heat’s suffocating defense as they were held to just 21 points despite their 50% shooting from the field. As for Miami, Butler had willed his squad back into the game with his 10 points contributing to the team’s 30 points in that quarter. Additionally, the Heat were finally shooting above the 50% mark (55% from the field) and 37.5% from the arc as they were able to diminish the Hawks’ 20 point lead to 11 (91-80) resulting from their 30-19 scoring run, heading into the fourth quarter. With the final quarter of action, the Hawks were going to have to step it up a notch if they wanted to secure the win: And surely enough they did. Despite the fact that the Heat were able to score another 33 points, Dejounte Murray made sure that the Hawks would prevail with 12 of the team’s 30 points as they squeaked out a 121-113 victory. It would be very remiss to not include the fact that the Hawks were able to lead for the entire contest without it ever changing in favor of the opposition.
Dejounte Murray led the way in the scoring column for Atlanta with his 28 points and 7 assists while receiving help from the others: Trae Young with 24 points and 8 assists, De’Andre Hunter with 15 points, John Collins with 14 points, Clint Capela and AJ Griffin with 12 points of their own. Although Young had quite a night with his scoring contribution he struggled tremendously with 10 turnovers.
As for the Heat, they were led by Jimmy Butler’s 34 points and Bam Adebayo’s 20 points and 13 rebounds. The Heat also had a few others with double-digits in box score as Tyler Herro had 15 points, Max Strus with 13 points, and Victor Oladipo with a double-double: 10 points and 10 assists.
Post Game Interviews
Clint Capela & Dejounte Murray
Coach Nate McMillan
The Atlanta Hawks (22-22) will seek to continue their winning ways against the slumping Dallas Mavericks (24-21), Wednesday night. The Mavericks have now lost five of their last seven contests including an ongoing losing streak after facing the Portland Trail Blazers. On the season, the Mavericks are currently averaging 112.7 points per game while defensively they allow opponents 112.3 points per game. The Hawks will also have a difficult assignment in guarding the potential frontrunner for MVP Luka Dončić who is averaging 33.8 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 8.8 assists.
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