Heat defeats Hawks 115-105, leads Game 2 playoffs 2-0
April 20, 2022
The Miami Heat came to a 2-0 lead over the Atlanta Hawks after defeating the visiting team 115-105 in the second game of the first playoffs round at FTX Arena. Leading Miami to the win was the heroic act of forward Jimmy Butler, who made a team-high performance that night.
Miami dominate the game early on from the first quarter until Atlanta gave a slight resistance in the fourth. However, for the rampaging hosting team, doubling down the Hawks’ effort of winning the second game was quite easy.
It was all thanks to Butler who carried the Heat with his stellar team-high performance, racking a whopping 45 points alongside double fives on both assists and rebounds.
Butler leads Miami to defeat Atlanta
Butler’s Tuesday night team-high record topped his own all-time playoffs career. Previously, the 32-year-old made 40 points as his playoff best back in 2020 in the third game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
"I just always wanna play basketball the right way and do whatever it takes to help this team, this organization win,” Butler explained post-game about his bubble run.
“That’s why they brought me here and I did that tonight.”
Assisting Butler on the offense against Atlanta was guard Tyler Herro who managed 15 points alongside forward Max Struss with 14 points. Guard Gabe Vincent made 11 points to seal the big-time victory for the top-seeded franchise.
“Big-time basketball from a big-time basketball player, one of the best two-way players in the game," guard Kyle Lowry said.
It was, however, Butler who stole the night, as the six-time NBA All-Star added yet another resume-worthy achievement to his professional basketball career. From the floor, Butler was 15 of 25, while from the line, he made 11 for 12..
“We go as he [Butler] goes,” Vincent added.
Locking down the Heat to win the game, Butler made a dunk. Followed by a three-pointer and another dunk when there was only one minute and 20 seconds remaining.
“Just staying aggressive," the Texans said. “Taking what the defense gives me."
Seeing his men cornering the visiting Atlanta, preventing them from making a comeback, Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra sang high praise for Miami four-for-four as well as the three-pointers made by Butler, forward P.J. Tucker, and Struss.
The trio’s efforts would later be complemented by Butler’s layup, propelling the franchise to an 11 lead 75-62 until Atlanta had a chance to make a return.
“Just elite two-way basketball that he exhibited tonight," Spoelstra praised the Butler.
Atlanta limps out of Miami's home turf
Leading Atlanta on the offense was guard Trae Young, who made 25 points, seven assists, and six rebounds. The 23-year-old registered a technical foul in the third quarter and gave enough room for Miami to expand the score gap.
Young’s technical foul was not the determining factor in the Hawks' defeat. Atlanta made higher numbers of both turnovers and fouls than Miami at 19 and 26, respectively.
Additionally, the Hawks made fewer blocks and steals than the opposing team. These game statistics are giveaways that head coach Nate McMillan’s men are rather poor in defense.
“I think the difference in the game tonight was turnovers," McMillan added.
“You can't have 19 turnovers in a playoff game and expect to win games. They scored 21 points off of our turnovers. A lot of those came in transition—and I thought that was the difference."