spot_img
25.6 C
Philippines
Thursday, February 29, 2024

Atlanta down Miami to book NBA playoff berth

- Advertisement -


Trae Young scored 25 points as the Atlanta Hawks booked their place in the NBA playoffs after defeating the Miami Heat 116-105 in the opening game of the play-in tournament on Tuesday.

Atlanta’s bench combined to score 53 points to silence the Miami home crowd and send the Hawks into an Eastern Conference first-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics.

Miami will now face the winner of Wednesday’s game between Toronto and Chicago to determine the eighth and final seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

“We brought the physicality to them,” Young said after the win. “They’re known for being a very physical team and trying to bully a lot of teams on the defensive end.

“And if you don’t match their physicality you can get beat. Tonight I think we matched their physicality and it showed.”

- Advertisement -

Young led a superb all-round offensive team effort from Atlanta, who saw seven players finish in double figures.

Dejounte Murray posted 18 points, while Saddiq Bey added 17.

Atlanta took a stranglehold on the game after a dominant first-half display, outhustling a sluggish Miami line-up at both ends of the court to quickly open up a double-digit lead.

The Hawks moved nine points clear at the end of the first quarter at 36-27 and then accelerated away in the second to lead by 24 points at 63-39.

Only a late 11-0 Miami run to close the half -– Kyle Lowry taking his first-half tally to 19 points — kept the scoreline respectable but Atlanta nevertheless still reached half-time with a hefty 65-50 lead.

Young led the Atlanta scoring in the first half with 13 points and six assists, including one superb behind-the-back pass in the second quarter to set up a three-pointer for Bey.

Clint Capela also delivered a huge defensive performance for Atlanta, hauling in 21 rebounds and making two crucial blocks in the first half to stymie Miami’s offense.

Miami rallied to start the second half with a 13-4 run and closed to within five points at one stage in the third quarter.

But Atlanta were always able to raise the game at key moments to close out the win.

- Advertisement -

LATEST NEWS

Popular Articles