EditorsNote: changes to “22.4” in second graf; changes to “six rebounds” at end of seventh graf; changes to “second period” in eighth graf
Rookie Kendrick Nunn produced his third 20-point effort of the season, going for a career-high 28 points to lead the visiting Miami Heat to a 106-97 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday.
Nunn shot 10-for-15 from the field and upped his season average to 22.4 points. His previous high was 25 against Minnesota on Sunday.
Atlanta cut the Miami lead, which was as much as 18, to six points with 5:49 left, but Meyers Leonard hit back-to-back 3-pointers to highlight a 10-0 run that shifted the momentum back to the Heat.
Leonard scored 16 and Tyler Herro added 17 for Miami. Jimmy Butler led the Heat with 11 assists and nine rebounds but he scored just five points on 2-of-10 shooting.
The Heat shot 14-for-37 on its 3-point attempts while Atlanta was only 7-for-34.
The Heat have won four of their first five games and lead the Southeast Division. They beat the Hawks for the second time in three days, having posted a 112-97 victory over Atlanta on Tuesday.
Jabari Parker led the Hawks with 23 points and added eight rebounds. DeAndre’ Bembry scored 18 with 10 rebounds and eight assists. Rookie Cam Reddish started at point guard for the Hawks in place of injured Trae Young and produced nine points — including his first career 3-pointer — and six rebounds.
Miami led by 11 points in the first quarter, but the Hawks pulled as close as four and cut the Heat’s lead to 30-26 to start the second period. The Heat stretched the lead to 48-33 in the second quarter, only to have Atlanta go on a 12-2 run and get within 52-46 at halftime.
The Heat were playing without Justise Winslow, who missed the game with lower back stiffness. Atlanta was again without backup point guard Evan Turner (sore right Achilles).
The Hawks got some good news regarding Young, who was injured on Tuesday. The second-year point guard may be able to return from an ankle injury as early as the middle of next week. The Hawks don’t play again until Tuesday, and Young will be re-evaluated on Monday.
—Field Level Media