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Heat smother Hawks to lead 3-1

ATLANTA (AP) – Miami used team defence to smother Atlanta’s Trae Young and then leaned on Jimmy Butler to take the scoring lead.

Butler scored 13 of his 36 points in a dominant second quarter and the Heat beat the Hawks 110-86 while again shutting down Young yesterday to take a 3-1 series lead.

Miami can wrap up the first-round series in Game 5 tomorrow in Miami.

Miami ended Atlanta’s six-game home winning streak despite playing without point guard Kyle Lowry, who was held out with a left hamstring strain. Butler said some of his motivation to take the scoring lead was the need to fill the void left by Lowry’s injury.

“Everybody is in my ear about staying aggressing, taking more shots,” Butler said. “Tonight was a good one. We’ve got another one we’ve got to get.”

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler shoots as Atlanta Hawks centre Clint Capela defends. PHOTO: AP

Butler overcame a slow start. He made only one of seven shots before hitting his final five shots of the first half to lead the turnaround.

Miami outscored Atlanta 30-15 in the second period, holding the Hawks to a season scoring low for the period.

Butler had 10 rebounds, four assists and blocked a shot.

Young scored only nine points with five assists and five turnovers as he was shut down by Miami’s defence for the second time in four games. Young was held to eight points in Miami’s 115-91 Game 1 win.

“They’re doing a great job of showing help and not letting me get to the paint,” Young said.

“You’ve got to give them credit. We’ve got to do a better job of figuring out how to get open looks so I can create for my teammates and myself, too.”

Miami outscored Atlanta 47-26 in the paint.

“They basically kept us on the perimeter,” said Hawks coach Nate McMillan.
De’Andre Hunter led the Hawks with 24 points.

Gabe Vincent had 11 points while sinking three three-pointers in his fill-in start for Lowry, who strained his hamstring in the third quarter last Friday in a 111-110 loss to the Hawks. Lowry’s status for Game 5 is not known.

Vincent also led the defensive effort against Young.

The Hawks led 37-29 before Miami took control with a 15-0 run in the second period.

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