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Jimmy Butler scores 36 as Heat roll over Hawks

Sportsnaut
Apr 24, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) is defended by Atlanta Hawks forward De'Andre Hunter (12) in the first quarter during game four of the first round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Butler posted 36 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and four steals as the Miami Heat defeated the host Atlanta Hawks, 110-86, on Sunday night in a first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.

Miami leads the best-of-7 series, 3-1. The Heat can clinch the series on Tuesday night in Miami.

Hawks star Trae Young, who led the NBA this season in total points and assists, had a quiet night. Young finished with nine points and five assists, and he was charged with five turnovers. He shot just 3-of-11 from the floor, including 3-of-10 on 3-pointers.

The Hawks were led by De’Andre Hunter, who scored 24 points on 9-for-13 shooting, including 4-of-6 on 3-pointers.

Heat star Tyler Herro scored just three points on 1-for-8 shooting. But the Heat got 14 points each from P.J. Tucker and Bam Adebayo.

Miami played without starting point guard Kyle Lowry, who suffered a hamstring injury in Game 3. Lowry was replaced by Gabe Vincent, who posted 11 points and four assists.

Starting center Clint Capela returned for Atlanta, posting two points and seven rebounds. He had been out since suffering a right-knee injury on April 10 in a play-in game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Hunter led Atlanta to a 26-25 first-quarter lead. Hunter had a quarter-high 11 points on 4-for-4 shooting, including 3-for-3 on 3-pointers.

With 16 seconds left in the first quarter, Atlanta’s Onyeka Okongwu made a spectacular block on Butler, forcing a jump ball.

The second quarter featured a 9-0 Hawks run, giving them a 35-27 lead. But Miami answered with a 15-0 stretch, taking a 55-41 lead into halftime.

In the third quarter, Tucker was charged with a technical foul after he jostled with Okongwu.

Even so, the Heat stretched their lead to 80-61 by the end of the third quarter.

Miami cruised in the fourth quarter, and the Heat finished with a 48-26 edge in paint points for the game.

The Heat, charged with just seven turnovers in the game, shot 43.5 percent from the floor, including 13-for-42 on 3-pointers (31.0 percent).

Atlanta shot 40.0 percent from the floor, including 15-for-42 on 3-pointers (35.7 percent).

–Field Level Media