The Atlanta Hawks will have played five games on the road before playing at home for the first time this season on Friday night against Denver. Atlanta’s 104-93 loss in Miami was their third in a row.
The Hawks were down by as much as 20 points early in the second half before tying the game at 79 on a Marco Belinelli mid-range jumper at the 10:49 mark of the third quarter.
By the end of the quarter, the Hawks would be down by four points with a little help from the Heat who shot 39 percent from the field after being hot throughout the first half. By the end of the game, however, Miami would have a win after making 14-35 three-pointers (The Hawks shot 7-17 from beyond the arc).
Both Kent Bazemore and Taurean Prince scored a season-high 20 points while rookie John Collins earned a consecutive double-double off the bench with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Collins is a Florida native and had his mother Lyria Rissing Collins, family and friends in the stands for support.
Atlanta fell behind early courtesy of Heat guard Wayne Ellington who made six of Miami’s first 12 three-pointers, at one point making four straight. “They did a good job of getting him open and he did a good job of knocking them down,” said Bazemore about Ellington. Miami led 62-44 at halftime.
In place of starting point guard Dennis Schroder, who was out with an ankle injury suffered during the Hawks loss in Brooklyn on Sunday, was backup Malcolm Delaney who scored 10 points on 3-9 shooting but more importantly only had one assist to go with three turnovers in 29 minutes of play.
The Hawks were also without second-year guard DeAndre’ Bembry who has missed the last two games with an injury to his right hand. A recent MRI revealed a fracture in the hand.
Bembry is one of the team’s best ball handlers and distributors and would have been an obvious replacement for Schroder, who will most likely sit out the Hawks next game in Chicago (0-2) on Thursday night in order to rest for the home opener on Friday night.
Newly signed point guard Isaiah Taylor came off the bench to provide a spark, scoring four points and dishing out two assists, while converting a crucial fourth-quarter drive. Taylor’s development will be crucial if the Hawks are to return home with two wins in five games.
The Hawks and Bulls are scheduled to tip off at 8 p.m. on Thursday.