Lakers eke past Wolves; Hawks show life, beat the Heat

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The NBA play-in tournament began on Tuesday, with the Atlanta Hawks crushing the Miami Heat on the road in a 7-8 Eastern Conference game, and the Los Angeles Lakers getting a win in the overtime over the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Western Conference 7. -8 game.

With the win, Atlanta clinched the seventh seed in the East and will face the second-seeded Boston Celtics in the first round. Miami will host the winner of Chicago and Toronto on Friday, with the East’s eighth seed on the line.

Likewise, the Lakers clinched the seventh seed in the West and will face the second-seeded Memphis Grizzlies in the first round. Minnesota will host the winner of New Orleans and Oklahoma City on Friday, with the West’s eighth seed on the line.

Here’s FOX Sports’ NBA analyst by Rick Bucher takeaways from the Hawks’ win:

With one of the most anemic offenses in the NBA, the Heat couldn’t afford to miss the wings in Tuesday’s play-in game against the Hawks. Their strength is an eighth-ranked defense built to force turnovers and not give up offensive rebounds.

That’s why the Heat feel pretty sick right now. Because they did everything they couldn’t afford to do against the Hawks, resulting in a close-to-wire 116-105 loss that now means they have to beat the winner of the Chicago- Toronto on Wednesday to keep their postseason hopes alive. .

Although the Heat closed to five in the second half, thanks to Kyle Lowry’s game-high 33 points off the bench, their fate may have been sealed in the first quarter when they missed five shots inside the restricted circle and they allowed the Hawks to catch. eight offensive rebounds, this from a Heat team that allowed a season-low 8.9 offensive boards. The Hawks finished with a total of 22 offensive rebounds; the Heat ended up missing 7 of 12 shots at the rim.

Worst: Heat stars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo were responsible for most of the self-inflicted damage. Butler went 6-for-19, nine of his 13 misses coming with at least one foot in the paint, five of them at the rim. Adebayo played 41 minutes and had nine rebounds, while Atlanta’s Clint Capela grabbed 21, eight of them on the offensive glass, including one in which he simply reached Adebayo to catch the ball.

Again, the Heat played most of the night with an ultra-small-ball starting lineup of 6-foot-7 Butler at power forward alongside Adebayo at center and 6-foot-5 Tyler Herro, 6-foot-6 Max Strus 5-foot and 6-foot Gabe Vincent on the perimeter. His two main backups: the 6-foot Lowry, who was sometimes accused of fitting Capela in, and the 6-foot Caleb Martin. The Heat’s only other big men, Kevin Love and Cody Zeller, played a combined seven minutes.

Here’s FOX Sports’ NBA reporter by Melissa Rohlin Lakers-Wolves takeaways:

Still to come!

Ric Bucher is an NBA writer for FOX Sports. He previously wrote for Bleacher Report, ESPN The Magazine and The Washington Post and has written two books, “Rebound,” about NBA forward Brian Grant’s battle with young-onset Parkinson’s, and “Yao: A Life In Two Worlds”. He also has a daily podcast, “On The Ball with Ric Bucher.” Follow him on Twitter @Rick Bucher.

Melissa Rohlin is an NBA writer for FOX Sports. He previously covered the league for Sports Illustrated, the Los Angeles Times, the Bay Area News Group and the San Antonio Express-News. Follow her on Twitter @melissarohlin.

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