Heat clinch crucial double-overtime victory against Hawks. Key insights and playoff race status.

Here are five insights from the Miami Heat’s hard-fought 117-111 double-overtime triumph over the Atlanta Hawks (36-43) on Tuesday night at State Farm Arena, concluding a three-game road trip at 2-1. The Heat (44-35) now heads back to Miami for the final stretch of the regular season with a three-game homestand, starting Wednesday against the Dallas Mavericks (7:30 p.m., Bally Sports Sun and ESPN), which also marks the last back-to-back set of games this season.

Despite a close call following a costly loss to the Indiana Pacers on Sunday, the Heat managed to eke out a victory after two overtime periods. “It was just a tremendous effort to have to overcome a lot of different things, down four, down six in the overtimes,” said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. “Our guys were exhausted. But sometimes that’s what it is. You just have to find a way to win, and our defense down the stretch was as good as it can be.”

While the Heat initially held a commanding lead, the Hawks staged a remarkable comeback, erasing a 14-point deficit in the third quarter to tie the game at 80 going into the fourth. Turnover issues plagued the Heat in the latter half of the game, with a total of 12 turnovers in the third and fourth quarters compared to just four in the first half. Additionally, the Heat struggled with second-chance points, being outscored 15-2 by the Hawks during this period.

Despite these challenges, the Heat capitalized on the Hawks’ cold shooting in the second overtime, securing a vital win. Tyler Herro, who tallied a game-high 33 points, led the charge for the Heat, with Jimmy Butler contributing 25 points, eight rebounds, nine assists, and three steals. Nikola Jovic also delivered an impressive performance with 23 points and eight rebounds.

The intense double-overtime game saw Herro playing a career-high 48 minutes, alongside Adebayo and Butler logging significant playing time. Looking ahead, the Heat maintains control over its playoff destiny, but the path to avoid the play-in tournament remains narrow. However, there is a possibility of securing the No. 6 seed if certain scenarios unfold, offering a chance to bypass the play-in tournament altogether.

Despite injuries sidelining Duncan Robinson and Terry Rozier, the Heat fielded a lineup on Tuesday that hadn’t started together in over a month. The starting lineup of Herro, Caleb Martin, Butler, Jovic, and Adebayo, while one of many combinations utilized by the Heat this season, displayed resilience in the face of adversity, epitomizing the team’s determination to secure a postseason berth.


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