It took three straight free throws from Ray Allen as he was fouled at the end of regulation to send the Heat into OT, at home, against the Hawks. Then it took two straight free throws from Michael Beasley at the end of extra time to assure the Heat victory 121-119 in OT.
The Hawks would not go away. Meanwhile, Chris Bosh was in the locker room getting stitches for a laceration on his lip.
The Hawks hung tough and, in part, it was due to their attack from three point range – they hit 17 threes on 50% shooting from downtown. It wasn’t enough as the Heat were able to find their footing and slide by the Hawks.
Beasley was able to get some of Erik Spoelstra’s confidence and saw extensive minutes as the Heat were trying to mix and match a way into victory with the Heat. Tonight, Beasley showed tremendous progress on the defensive side of the ball as he took on his assignment, Paul Millsap, and denied him a basket at the end of the game that could have really hurt the Heat’s chances. Beasley’s ability to slide his feet and funnel his defensive assignment under the basket shows that he is getting it – and this is the key, moving forward, for Beasley getting extended minutes.
Lebron James was his usual great self, throwing in 38 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists while defending anyone and everyone on the floor down the stretch. He also had another poster-like dunk to get the crowd out of their seats down the stretch.
The Hawks showed they have staying power with solid talent at all positions and a plan that Spoelstra described as a “San Antonio template”. They lead the NBA in assists and are playing very unselfish basketball which kept the Heat on their toes all night defensively.