NBA: Heat hold off Hawks without Jimmy Butler to clinch series win

MIAMI (REUTERS) – Victor Oladipo scored 23 factors and Bam Adebayo posted 20 factors and made a key defensive play because the Miami Heat held off the Atlanta Hawks for a series-clinching 97-94 victory in Game 5 of the National Basketball Association Eastern Conference’s first spherical on Tuesday (April 26).

The Hawks had a few probabilities to pull even within the last 30 seconds, however a missed shot got here earlier than a game-ending steal by Adebayo.

Miami will likely be off till opening the convention semi-finals on Monday in opposition to Philadelphia or Toronto.

Max Strus scored 10 factors throughout Miami’s 17-0 run late within the second quarter that allowed the Heat to construct a 54-42 half-time lead.

Tyler Herro poured in 16 factors off the Miami bench and Strus completed with 15 factors. The Heat performed without All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler (knee harm) and, for the second sport in a row, level guard Kyle Lowry (hamstring).

Atlanta’s De’Andre Hunter scored 35 factors, together with 11 within the final 5 minutes. Kevin Huerter and Danilo Gallinari each had 12 factors for the Hawks, who had been unable to repeat final yr’s post-season success once they reached the Conference Finals.

Atlanta star guard Trae Young was held to 11 factors, scoring simply three factors – all on free throws – within the fourth quarter. He was 2-for-12 from the sector, together with 0-for-5 on three-pointers, and was charged with six turnovers.

Miami’s huge burst got here within the last minutes of the primary half after the Hawks led for the primary eight minutes of the second quarter. But Atlanta didn’t have a area objective within the final 4½ minutes of the half, with Hunter’s two free throws with 3.2 seconds earlier than half-time halting Miami’s scoring run.

The Hawks recovered sufficient to shut inside 79-76 with 8:14 remaining on Onyeka Okongwu’s three-point play. Oladipo posted seven of Miami’s subsequent 13 factors because the unfold reached 92-82 earlier than Atlanta’s last push.

Adebayo and Hunter every led their groups with 11 rebounds.

This was the closest end result of Miami’s 4 wins within the series; the three others got here by at the least 10 factors.

In Memphis, Ja Morant scored 18 of his game-high 30 factors within the fourth quarter, together with a tie-breaking lay-up within the last second, and the Grizzlies defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 111-109 to take a 3-2 lead of their first-round Western Conference play-off series.

Morant’s driving basket beneath duress as time expired capped a whirlwind last 2min 1sec wherein the National Basketball Association’s 2021-22 Most Improved Player scored the Grizzlies’ last 11 factors.

Memphis will strive to wrap up the best-of-seven series in Minneapolis on Friday.

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