ATLANTA (AP) — Tyler Johnson scored 23 points and the resurgent Miami Heat helped add new lift to their playoff hopes by beating the Atlanta Hawks 108-90 on Friday night.
Miami (26-32) has won 15 of 17 to move to within four games of .500. Miami was a season-low 19 games under .500 at 11-30 following a loss to Milwaukee on Jan. 13. Miami began the night 10th in the East, 2 ½ games behind eighth-place Detroit.
The Heat made 17 of 37 3-pointers to dominate the short-handed Hawks.
Atlanta was without point guard Dennis Schroder, the normal starter, who was suspended for one game after failing to return on time from a visit to his native Germany for the All-Star break.
Paul Millsap led Atlanta with 21 points, but he had too little help. He scored 10 straight points for the Hawks in the second period.
Goran Dragic had 17 points, Dion Waiters scored 14 and Rodney McGruder added 13 for the Heat. Ersan Ilyasova, acquired by the Hawks from the 76ers on Wednesday, had nine points in his debut.
Following a 34-all tie early in the second period, Miami outscored Atlanta 29-15 for a 63-49 halftime lead. The Heat had 19 assists in the half, compared to only six for Atlanta.
The Hawks missed Schroder on both ends of the floor. They struggled in their half-court offense and also missed Schroder’s defense.
Both teams relied on backups after Miami took an 87-66 lead into the final period.
Heat: Luke Babbitt was 4 of 6 on 3s for 12 points. … Miami made 11 of 19 3s in the first half. … Johnson had 12 points in the second period while making two 3-pointers. … The win gave the Heat a split of the four-game season series with the Hawks.
Hawks: Rookie Malcolm Delaney had five points and four assists and made only 2 of 10 shots from the field in his first career start as the fill-in for Schroder. … F Ryan Kelly and G Lamar Patterson were signed to multiyear contracts. Patterson previously signed two 10-day contracts with the team, most recently on Feb. 8. He has averaged 2.3 points in four games. The Hawks had two vacant roster spots after trading F Mike Scott to the Suns on Thursday.
The Hawks wore their early 1970’s Pete Maravich-era blue and green throwback uniform. The Hawks will retire Maravich’s No. 44 jersey in a halftime ceremony during their March 3 game against Cleveland. The other Hawks to have their numbers retired are Bob Pettit, Lou Hudson, Dominique Wilkins and Dikembe Mutombo. Former owner Ted Turner also is honored with a banner hanging beside the retired numbers.
Heat: Host Indiana on Saturday night
Hawks: Visit Orlando on Saturday night
(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)