MIAMI — HeatThey were without two of their starters, but they didn't miss a beat in Tuesday night's 97-94 game 5 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. Atlanta HawksTo advance to the next round.
With Kyle LowrySidelined since the third quarter of Game 3 due to a left hamstring strain Jimmy ButlerMiami, who was wearing street clothes due to inflammation in his right leg, received a lift from an unlikely pair.
Victor OladipoBecause of quadriceps injury, he has only appeared in 96 of the 309 regular-season games. Max StrusHe was undrafted, and he played in only two games with the NBA's first two teams. However, he picked up the pace to help the Heat win their first playoff series at home since 2016.
Oladipo scored 23 points after shooting 8-for-16. He had more points in the first five minute of the quarter (eight), than he had in any of the four previous games (six).
Strus ended the game with 15 points. He went on a 10-0 run between the 2:29 mark in the second quarter and the 1:22 mark in the half. This turned a Miami deficit of one point into a nine point cushion that the Heat increased to 12.
Not to mention Bam AdebayoThe 20-point effort was a 7-for-11 shot and 11 rebounds. It included a crucial dunk with 59.2 second left on an Oladipo feed, which doubled the Heat’s lead from two to four to stave off an Atlanta rally.
It was a team effort by a Heat team accustomed to plugging and playing — Miami used 23 different starting lines during the regular season to reach the Eastern Conference's No. 1 record.
The defensive end was where Miami ended a difficult series. This team cohesion was a shining example of that. Trae YoungAtlanta star held to 11 points, shooting 2-for-12 (0-for-5 from 3), and turning down six shots.
Young had more turnovers (30) in five games than made field goals (22) and had three of his lowest points totals for the season.
Miami finished the win by a signature stop. The Hawks were denied a shot attempt on Miami's final possession. Miami had the chance to tie the game with a 3 after an inbounds pass was made out of timeout with 5.2 second remaining.
Tyler HerroSixth Man of Year finalists, Corey Grass, scored 16 points from the bench. It was his 11th career playoff game with at least 15 points as a reserve, extending his lead for the most such games in Heat franchise history, according to research by ESPN Stats & Information.
Miami will play the victor of the Philadelphia 76ers‘ Toronto Raptors‘ First-round Series, which the Sixers lead by 3-2, guarantees at least a few days for Lowry or Butler to rest up.