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Granit Xhaka's cracker caps Arsenal's wild win over Manchester United

Arsenal increased their chances of a top-four finish when Granit Xhaka capitalized on a missed Bruno Fernandes penalty (Author: Gardener)

Arsenal'sThe game was even, with Manchester United pressing hard and threatening to equalize to make it 2-2, Arsenal hot on their heels. Then, in an isolated forward attack by the home team, Granit Xhaka brought his left foot down like a sledgehammer and everything changed. Bruno Fernandes had just missed a penalty for United. Now he was caught in possession by Mohamed Elneny at the edge of his own penalty area and when the ball was played 25 yards from Xhaka the Arsenal midfielder had only one thing on his mind. The connection was sweet and the shot screamed past David de Gea. It's been a busy afternoon for Arsenal, which Mikel Arteta described as a "roller coaster". But United were broken and it would be Arsenal who boosted their top four hopes. After all the criticism after last Tuesday's 4-0 loss to Liverpool, after home truths from interim manager Ralf Rangnick, including that the squad will need open-heart surgery, it was an improved performance from United at least at one end of the pitch. United created a large number of openings, with right-back Diogo Dalot hitting the woodwork twice. The returning Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored his goal - his 100th in the Premier League - had narrowly ruled out another offside, which Rangnick called a wrong decision by VAR. He left his stud late and spitefully to Nuno Tavares, who had opened the top scorer early, and he was lucky to walk away with a yellow card. Arsenal had been the clear favorites to qualify for their first Champions League campaign since 2016, but it felt like the young side had been on edge. Yet Xhaka would bend the tale to the power of his will, and it was certainly a sight for sore eyes to see him blow kisses to the Emirati crowd and have them love back. Previously dubbed the scapegoat, the relationship between him and them was forever flawed – to paraphrase Xhaka – he had made himself a hero and Arsenal's full-time celebrations reflected the importance of the result. For United, the misery continues. Rangnick had been forced into a defensive move following the bomb threat to Harry Maguire's home, which isn't a sentence anyone could have ever imagined reading but somehow reflects the anger and chaos at the club. The fit Raphaël Varane came into play and he was to blame for the first goal, although he wasn't the only one. He and Alex Telles missed slapstick clearance attempts from a Xhaka cross and, as Bukayo Saka watched De Gea demonstrate his attempt at curling, Tavares lunged for his first Arsenal goal. United were a shambles defensively, their last line everywhere. Eddie Nketiah was allowed to a one on one chance which De Gea saved but the keeper was hit again shortly after. What a strange goal as Saka shoved through an Emile Smith Rowe shot for Nketiah and was subjected to a body check by Victor Lindelöf after the United centre-back was caught on the wrong side. Nketiah finished this time but VAR called him back for offside. The technology was then used in the Lindelöf challenge. It would have been easy for United to feel sorry for themselves having created many equalizers from a 1-0 deficit. Anthony Elanga ran through twice but failed to finish and Rangnick complained that Tavares mistreated him the second time. Scott McTominay missed a header chance; Fernandes failed to unload a chip after Aaron Ramsdale gave up the ball; Ronaldo's touch let him down on a high ball; and Dalot rattled the crossbar from 25 yards. Ronaldo got in front of Gabriel too easily to convert a Nemanja Matic cross and there was still time in the first half for De Gea to save Elneny and Martin Ødegaard and Ramsdale to deflect a Telles shot. Paul Pogba, who was out with a calf injury and was out of contract in the summer, tweeted at the break that he hopes to return before the end of the season. "It's not over yet, United we would stand," he wrote with a slightly odd conditional. Ditto for Tavares' decision to leap onto a United corner with his arm outstretched and hit the ball for penalties. The game had become an ordeal for the left-back but he was pardoned when Fernandes stuttered, hopped and dragged the kick against the outside of a post. United continued to press. McTominay worked Ramsdale, Ronaldo spun and lashed home only to be thwarted by the narrowest of offside decisions and Dalot rattled a post. The equalizer felt like it was coming. Xhaka had other ideas.

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Premier League result, final standings and reaction after Granit Xhaka's goal

Follow live updates as Arsenal host Manchester United in the race for the Premier League top 4 (Author: Gardener)

Granit Xhaka'sFollow Arsenal v Manchester United live updates below: * Bukayo Saka scores from the penalty spot after a foul. As things stand Arsenal are fourth with the win but Tottenham will later play Brentford where they will try to get back into the Champions League qualifying spot. Ronaldo is still at the heart of United as he's almost at the end of a good cross, but he's just flagged for offside. More cards rain down on this match when Lindelof is booked for a challenge against Nketiah. Odegaard, who had a great game, gets in a great position to line the box but United choke the ball. The visitors make yet another change as Fernandes folds in for Mata. Matic fouls Nketiah and Arsenal have a goal kick and cameras pan to the touchline as United try to make changes. Lingard and Rashford will come into play in the next break. Before they come, Fernandes is booked for a challenge on Tavares. VAR checks the tackle, it's a late one from the United player but he stays on the pitch. The England internationals are called into action as Matic and Elanga drop out. McTominay goes down and Elneny gets a yellow card for the foul. VAR checks if Nketiah blocked De Gea's eye line ahead of Xhaka's strike. The check is over and the goal is there, it was such a great goal! He was dropped for Holding, hopefully Saka's injury doesn't keep him out of action for the rest of the season. If United don't win here, it would be their fourth away defeat, which hasn't happened since the 80/81 season. A nice ball from Saka sees him thread the ball through two United defenders but nobody is in the box to collect it. But the ball comes out again and Xhaka hits. It slides through the United defense like butter. United are screaming for an equalizer and their frustration at being held is evident in a scuffle between McTominay and Gabriel in the box. There was a yellow card for Xhaka for hitting the ball in the stands, a stupid card to give away. This is his 50th yellow card for Arsenal, a huge stat. The BT Sport cameras pick up United supporters on the mic with shouts of 'pick him up'. The VAR has confirmed the shot was offside, it was a lot closer than I initially thought but his right leg went offside. Ronaldo is injured but luckily is back on his feet. Cedric is sidelined and so United are back on track. Ronaldo puts the ball down to Dalot, who has a huge chance! The visitors are getting closer to equalizing but Arsenal are doing well to keep their lead. The confidence the team gave him to choose Fernandes over Ronaldo and then he thinks and tries to be too smart! Elanga has a shot just after the miss, but Ramsdale does enough to thwart it. The ball pings around and finally Tavares manages to get it away. United still have the ball and Ronaldo looked like he had scored but he was ruled offside. United are hungry to equalize here. VAR will check but he's offside so that goal is unlikely to stand. Surprisingly, Fernandes takes on Ronaldo. He hits it softly and it hits the post, Ronaldo goes over to comfort his teammate. Nketiah has a good opportunity for Tavares, but the ball deflects wide of the target. The first chance of the half goes nowhere. McTominay fouls Xhaka and Arsenal take a free kick. Xhaka rolls the ball in but Telles heads away, it comes back to Saka who misses his chance. The England international hit a boot to clear the ball but chased the pain away. McTominay is in trouble again when he fouls Gabriel in his own half. Another long Arsenal press ends at De Gea's feet. Now United have a free kick when White fouls Sancho. The ball is peed around and ends in a United corner. Fernandes steps out and misses a penalty as Tavares holds the ball! It was a slow start to the second half but Arsenal had the lion's share of possession. A long streak with the ball ends with the Gunners running the ball out of play for a goal kick. United now want to build up but in the action Fernandes went down injured. Can Arsenal stop United? Some people say it's soft, but Telles makes contact with Saka in the box. Tavares got the goal going with an early goal but United didn't let up after conceding. They created chances but it was Arsenal who doubled their lead with a Saka penalty. But Ronaldo didn't want the Gunners to have the only word as he put United back in the game with a one-touch finish. It was also the star's 100th goal in the Premier League. Ödegaard whips the ball in, but finds no teammate. The Gunners see this half in style, having the majority of possession and chances. Ramsdale feels the pressure from Ronaldo as Cedric plays back to the keeper whose release is sloppy. Telles gets a great shot away and Ramsdale makes a good save. Cedric then kicks it out of play for a corner. Fernandes gets a shot away but Arsenal block and they counter. Ödegaard shoots away, De Gea has to parry! Elneny's skillful touch is enough to worry De Gea, who shoves him wide for the corner. Cedric takes the kick and the ball flips around the box. Saka hits it, but it's blocked by Elanga. Sancho has a good game and is a big nuisance down the left. He won a corner for the visitors with Fernandes scoring. Ramsdale has his eyes on the ball and he's collecting. Odegaard was hit in the head in the exchange, but the star stays put. Ronaldo has been everywhere for United and it's fitting that he's the one to bring them back into this game. There is a break in play as Telles is down with an injury. As play gets back on track, Ramsdale makes another howling error with a short pass. United almost pounce, what a moment that would have been! Saka wins a throw-in from Arsenal but United forces her back to half. Fernandes whips the ball in and Ronaldo makes a one touch finish. A nice penalty from Saka, the team jumps over him! I'm speechless this came after Nketiah had an earlier chance which De Gea saved well. Saka gets knocked out in the box and all the United players just stopped playing. VAR have ruled it offside but they are now checking if there is a penalty with that Saka challenge from Telles. It's a punishment! What a terrible first half for United. Oh my god United stopped because they thought it was a foul but Nketiah took his shot. De Gea did not try to save it and it was given. VAR is checking if he's flagged for offside but it looks fine. McTominary hits the deck after being fouled and they get a free kick midway. Ronaldo gets the ball in his way again to take an opportunity but the jump isn't friendly. United don't sleep as Sancho comes into the box and then he and Ronaldo request a handball. It will be checked by VAR and a penalty will not be awarded, experts are convinced it was a handball. Cedric gives the ball away, Sancho jumps. It's threaded through the players and Diallo hits a stunning ball that hits the woodwork. Fernandes wants to put it in the box but his touch has too much on it. His dancing feet bring so much menace that Elanga fouls him to win a free kick just outside the box. Odegaard takes it but it sails over the bar as United look to create something from their own half. Ronaldo gets a shot away if he scores today he will concede his 100th Premier League goal. The striker has been involved in all United's good work to date and is impeccable in midfield. Arsenal keep the ball but they can't get the finishing touches to take chances. United try to build from deep but De Gea's kick lands at Ramsdale's feet. Varane tries to clear but Nketiah intercepts and is almost through. But just as Arsenal miss a chance, United run away with a fantastic Ronaldo pass that feeds Elanga. VAR are considering if United should have a penalty if Tavares brings him down in the box but it's not given. The Gunners have so much space in midfield but United grab the ball back. Ronaldo brings the ball to Fernandes, who feeds Elanga. Ramsdales make a great save to prevent an equalizer and concede a corner. The ball sails in, McTominay gets his head but he sends it wide. United haven't fallen apart since conceding but that's all Arsenal at the moment. After seven minutes there is a break from the game for Ronaldo, who unfortunately recently lost his son, and both fans applaud the striker. Arsenal supporters may have their hearts in their mouths as Saka is down injured and appears to be in a lot of pain. And as play gets back on track, Ramsdale makes a big mistake on a clearing kick but Fernandes is unable to control the ball. United's defense broke up there, and back passes missed their target Varane. A shot came in but De Gea saved. Incredible start for Arsenal and a great moment for Tavares who scores his first Gunners goal. United are in possession now to try and get a foothold in this game. Oh no United, the defense had a howler and Tavares jumps after De Gea is forced to save. Who will improve their chances of qualifying for the Champions League? We'll find out soon as players get started in the Emirates. Ralf Rangnick said: "We owe it to ourselves and our fans to show the best of us today. “We [Rangnick and Ronaldo] spoke the day he returned to training. He said everything is fine, I can play and train again. "United is our focus and we can play in front of our people." It's a battle for the Top 4 with the Gunners just three points ahead of the Red Devils. But it's Arsenal who will go into the game with more confidence. They beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge earlier this week while United lost 4-0 to Liverpool. Arsenal could temporarily move up to fourth with a win over United as Tottenham play at 5.30pm. It will put pressure on their rivals if they pick up three points as Spurs would then need to beat Brentford to reclaim the Champions League spot. Everything takes place in the Emirates in 20 minutes. Ralf Rangnick will remain in charge of United for the remainder of the season as they look to usurp Arsenal in the battle to qualify for the Champions League. Asked directly about Ten Hag's appointment, Arteta added: "I think he was really good at what he did in the Champions League a couple of years ago, especially the way his teams play. It's a Man United decision, there's nothing more to say. "For us there is no impact (on Saturday's game), for them I don't know what's going to happen, but for us nothing changes." Pogba is one of several players set to leave in a summer of change overseen by newly appointed manager Ten Hag. Edinson Cavani, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata are others out of contract while Nemanja Matic has already confirmed he is leaving. The defender appears to be United's fifth-choice centre-back and apparently suggested on Instagram that he should play alongside Raphael Varane instead of Harry Maguire in Saturday's Premier League game at Arsenal. "Listen, I'm not talking about the fact that my players don't know what happened in the press conference. "If what you just told me is really true, then I don't think it's the right sign. That shouldn't happen in a football team, no matter what the league." Ralf Rangnick believes Paul Pogba played his last game for Manchester United. The 29-year-old came through Old Trafford's youth ranks and returned to the club in 2016 for a then-world-record fee after a successful stint at Juventus. But Pogba's return hasn't worked out as both parties would like and the world champion is expected to leave United this summer when his contract expires. There is little sign of him agreeing to a new deal, meaning the 10 minutes he managed before limping away with a calf injury in Tuesday's 4-0 defeat at Liverpool will likely be his last for the will be club. Rangnick says Pogba will be on the sidelines for at least four weeks, which would bring a fitting conclusion to what has not exactly been an overwhelming time. "It doesn't make sense (to talk about his characterization as a player) at the moment," said the interim boss when asked if the midfielder was an enigma. He is a player who won the World Cup with France. He's such a good player that he's been a regular starter for a side like France. "We all know what potential he has and what a good player he can be. "But like some other players, he struggled to consistently perform at his best on the pitch for a team like Manchester United. In the Arsenal line-up, Cedric comes in for Rob Holding in the only change since Wednesday's win against Chelsea. Cristiano Ronaldo returns to the starting XI for United with one of five substitutions up front. Harry Maguire is on the bench as Raphael Varane joins the back four alongside Alex Telles. Jadon Sancho starts on the right, Marcus Rashford is out. Team news coming soon. Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphael Varane will return for United. Interim manager Ralf Rangnick has warned Manchester United will face “open-heart surgery” if they want to continue under Erik ten Hag. The highly-rated Germany manager, who was temporarily deployed following the departure of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November, has struggled to coax a consistent tune from the Red Devils' stuttering stars. Interim manager Ralf Rangnick has warned Manchester United will face "open-heart surgery" if they are to start under Erik ten Hag. The highly-rated Germany manager, who was temporarily deployed following the departure of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November, has struggled to coax a consistent tune from the Red Devils' stuttering stars. That time in the Old Trafford dugout has revealed a number of issues for Rangnick, who knows a thing or two about building success having overseen the rise of RB Leipzig and sister club Red Bull Salzburg. Rangnick's short-term focus goes hand in hand with a long-term assessment of what's needed for United, who may have made a "good choice" in appointing Ajax boss Ten Hag as permanent manager, but have much more to do. Rangnick's short-term focus goes hand in hand with a long-term assessment of what's needed for United, who may have made a "good choice" in appointing Ajax boss Ten Hag as permanent manager, but have much more to do. "I'm pretty sure he's the best possible coach you can get right now," said the interim manager. "I'm pretty sure he's the best possible coach you can get right now," said the interim manager. "All the other things, as sad as it is and as frustrating as it feels for everyone involved right now - and believe me, for me it's extremely, terribly frustrating because in the last 10 years, if not 15 years, we've only experienced success, myself also as a sports director and as a football manager. "But the good thing about what happened, one of the few good things, is that it's crystal clear. The Gunners host Manchester United today, with the visitors announcing Erik ten Hag as their new manager on Thursday. Arteta was next through the door, the former Arsenal captain who won the FA Cup in his first season, but he said a small part of him was still unsure if he would follow in Wenger's footsteps. "But it was tiny compared to the excitement and the opportunity I saw of joining this club and trying to do what we all wanted, which was to get him back to where Arsene had him at the highest level and obviously too." That desire was far greater than the fear of failure.” Arsenal captain Alexandre Lacazette could return for Manchester United's Premier League visit tonight. The striker is back in full training after testing positive for the coronavirus but could find himself on the bench after his substitute Eddie Nketiah scored a brace in the 4-2 win at Chelsea. Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphael Varane will return to the Emirates as United without a number of other key players. The pair missed out on the 4-0 defeat at Liverpool and Scott McTominay is fit after only being used as an emergency substitute at Anfield, where Paul Pogba picked up a calf injury that will rule him out for the rest of the season. Follow live updates as Arsenal take on Manchester United in what could prove crucial in the race for the Premier League top four. Follow live updates as Arsenal take on Manchester United in what could prove crucial in the race for the Premier League top four. The Gunners are three points and a place above old rivals United in the table and will look to skip Tottenham Hotspur and reach the Champions League with a win at the Emirates. The Gunners are three points and a place above old rivals United in the table and will look to skip Tottenham Hotspur and reach the Champions League with a win at the Emirates. Mikel Arteta's side breathed new life into their season with a 4-2 away win at Chelsea on Wednesday after a run of three defeats dashed their hopes. Mikel Arteta's side breathed new life into their season with a 4-2 away win at Chelsea on Wednesday after a run of three defeats dashed their hopes. United are now aiming for a similar result after their humiliating 4-0 defeat by Liverpool midweek and three points would put Ralf Rangnick's side back in contention. United are now aiming for a similar result after their humiliating 4-0 defeat by Liverpool midweek and three points would put Ralf Rangnick's side back in contention. United this week announced that Erik ten Hag would become the club's next permanent manager at the end of the season and securing Champions League qualification would boost the Dutchman's project at Old Trafford. United this week announced that Erik ten Hag would become the club's next permanent manager at the end of the season and securing Champions League qualification would boost the Dutchman's project at Old Trafford. The magnitude of the task facing Ten Hag was illustrated by United's performance at Anfield and there will be a number of players in Rangnick's squad who could now be fighting for their own future at the club. The magnitude of the task facing Ten Hag was illustrated by United's performance at Anfield and there will be a number of players in Rangnick's squad who could now be fighting for their own future at the club. Both teams have struggled for consistency in recent weeks and a draw would do little for either side as Tottenham take on Brentford in the later game tonight. Both teams have struggled for consistency in recent weeks and a draw would do little for either side as Tottenham take on Brentford in the later game tonight.

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Bulls routed by Bucks in Game 3

The Bulls wanted to make sure they got the attention of the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks. It might not have been a good idea. (Author: Gardener)

Milwaukee BucksThe Bulls wanted to make sure they got the attention of the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks. Because the Bucks' Friday in the Bulls' first home playoff game in more than five years made it seem like it would be another five years in a dominating, overwhelming, commanding, commanding game -- there may not be enough adjectives to sum this up completely to declare - 111-81 victory over the Bulls to take a 2-1 lead in the opening round playoff series. "They came out and kicked ass, and now it's up to us how we're going to react," said DeMar DeRozan, who was held down to 30 points from Game 2 to Game 3. The Bucks were just so much better and considering you'd think they were trying to win a second straight NBA championship. "I've always talked about that with teams that have won championships," recalled Bulls coach Billy Donovan. "They know how to react and come out of the first two games with a break...regardless of whether (injured) Khris Middleton was playing or not, it would have been the same side with that experience and their steadfastness. Hopefully for some of us younger guys it will be a good learning experience of what it means to go to another level. The Bulls may not have that level. Tap to hear Billy Donovan's post-game reaction from Chicago after Chicago lost to Milwaukee in Game 3. There was a lot of post-game talk about reacting and being the aggressor and physicality and intensity, mentality and competing, and did anyone mention reacting? In fact, it was a darn brave effort from the suddenly undermanned Bucks, who lost home field advantage in the series had to make a come-from-behind win away. Right, the Bulls were 3-2 up... And then, of course, when the Ox left his family, he said Bison. It was so bad for the Bulls Friday, that Public Enemy No. 7, Grayson Allen, was the Bucks' top scorer with 22 points and made five of seven threes, including three in the first quarter as the Bucks took an 18-point lead and ABC-TV may be looking for a repeat of Bull's Anatomy changed. Although Bulls top scorer Nikola Vucevic made for a hell of a screen in the second quarter with 19 points... This was disappointing, especially after the climax of the Game 2 win in Milwaukee, where the Bulls left many observers marveling at just how good this was Milwaukee team and now without key scorer Middleton for the series. Former Bull and Bucks fan favorite Bobby Portis, who wore the Horace Grant goggles after his eye abrasion ruled him out of most of the second game, switched to the starting lineup for Middleton and had a great game with 18 points and 16 rebounds. And two of those six bucks in the first quarter three that put them 33-17 after one. "He's gone up and made big plays," Zach LaVine said of Portis. We have to adapt if they want to continue like this. That's not exactly the Bulls formula, although with Alex Caruso's activity and DeRozan's hitting and forcing the Bucks to 36 turnovers in the first two games, the Bulls looked like the better team for maybe six of the eight quarters. Just for the record, it was 60-41 Bucks at halftime as the Bucks sloppy closed the half, and then 73-44 four minutes into the third quarter. And at 90-59 Bucks after three, with Portis ending the third quarter with a three and a shimmy dance, the Bulls might get a break with Sunday's Game 4 at noon. There was nothing left to answer, so Donovan dropped off his weary Big Three regulars, all of whom were averaging close to or more than 40 minutes per game. Aside from Patrick Williams, who eventually lit up with a point on the scoreboard for fourth, his only of the game. Over three quarters, the Bulls accumulated five points for Coby Whites reserves. "He (Allen) was the guy we wanted to leave," LaVine said. "We have to look at it when he kicks the ball like that." Zach LaVine had 15 points, five rebounds and five assists in the Game 3 loss to Milwaukee. Giannis Antetokounmpo again had 18 points and nine assists, mostly fitting out of the Bulls' continued help and pressure to block the lane. Jrue Holiday added 16 points and the Bucks controlled the rebound by a 55-43 lead. They only had 10 turnovers for seven Bulls points and held the Bulls, who were forced to shoot mostly jump shots and not particularly well, to 30 inside points. The most popular playoff cliché revolves around adjustments, and while there appeared to be some technical changes — DeRozan said the Bucks primarily applied pressure to the right side of screens to get him and LaVine left and away from rhythm shots — there was it was above all the passion with which the Bucks played. "I thought you were the aggressor," Donovan agreed. In the first two games I had the feeling that we held our ground physically. I don't think we competed as well physically as we needed to. I felt like they carried over their physicality from games 1 and 2. "There's a huge mental component in the playoffs," Donovan recalled. "When you go from (playing) one to two to three to four, a lot of things happen and it's new for a lot of our guys and as much as you talk about that you broke up in Milwaukee and you're all feeling good, I knew and felt you don't win an NBA championship if you can't react and try as hard as you can to prepare for their reaction - and everyone was talking about Khris Middleton being out and he's a great player and an important part of the team is "They still wanted to increase it. We have to understand that in a series, mental toughness, preparation, attention to detail and heightened awareness and intensity increase with every game. We have to be able to find a way to take it up to take it to a higher level than it was." The Bucks also made it clear that DeRozan would no longer get 41 points. Donovan and DeRozan talked about right play and the difficult shots DeRozan made despite the Bucks defense in Game 2, but this was different. DeRozan Friday finished with 11 points on four of nine shots. He didn't play the fourth quarter when he's making a lot of shots, but it was the first game all season where DeRozan didn't have at least double-digit field goal attempts. DeMar DeRozan had 11 points in 4-of-9 shooting against Milwaukee. I got a feel for it throughout the game. You have to give them credit. Now it's up to us to make our adjustments on how we're going to counter that and try to understand how we can do better and take advantage of how they're guarding me and Zach just for the 41 in Game 2. LaVine finished the team with 15 points and led the team with five assists, but he was somewhat limping on that troubled knee after a three-point game late in the third quarter. Donovan said LaVine even asked to step back in the fourth quarter. But LaVine also confirmed with a smile afterwards, which was clear. "I've been limping all season," he said. So DeRozan was the obvious target. "We didn't have the same level of competitiveness, I didn't think we had the first two games in Milwaukee," LaVine said. “We took a hit in the first game when we lost nine and we reacted immediately. So we need to watch the movie and figure out how we can do a better job of balancing power with power. It's an answer game. They came out and hit us in the mouth and we didn't react properly. We have another game for that. We saw how they played us differently; we have to adapt." While the Bucks didn't give DeRozan all the traps and doubles teams, every time he moved across a screen, there was a very large person in a show-and-recovery defense. Not that Brook Lopez recovering very quickly, but pretty much every time DeRozan looked at the rim, his defenseman was fighting hard this time across screens and a big person like Lopez, Portis or Giannis would jump at him. DeRozan had four assists, but the Bulls aren't a huge amount of three -Scoring team Though White led the Bulls in rebounds Not as good either, but credit to him Vucevic and Alex Caruso each made three of the three-pointers, but the Bulls lack the classic catch-and-shoot three-point ace makes it less effective to swing the ball for long shots. Most Bulls shooters like to move away from dribbling." As a competitor, you have to face the challenge of trying to tie that thing down ' DeRozan said. " That's what we have to do next Sunday, face this challenge. I know that every game will be different. I shoot nine shots, we shoot 39 percent from the field, nine for 34 out of three; it's up to us to be more aggressive and getting out of goal and hitting their intensity." The size Bucks mostly play defense to protect the middle, which forces teams to be good from distance. "When Lopez is down there and Giannis , it's hard to get over them," Donovan said. The way they're going to help, you have to squirt the ball out." Because of this, Vucevic has led the team in two of the three games in field goal attempts, which was rare this season when he was with DeRozan and LaVine played. Vucevic played well again and made the only two shots in the first quarter while the Bucks had 15. And you don't want Centers shooting three-pointers as your primary offense. That's what the Bucks were so good at. And especially their defensive play , which was a little lacking in Game 2 when Portis went out early and then Middleton late. Even the Bulls' shots were difficult and the Bucks with the rebounding edge kept the Bulls from much transition play. Donovan called for more pace after the game but that has been difficult all season since Lonzo lost ball. DeRozan dismissed the margin of loss in deference to the outcome, loss is a losing proposition. Maybe not for the many who started d poured out of the arena during the fourth quarter. The Bucks had previously done that to the Bulls. "Now we have an opportunity to tie this thing on Sunday at our home court, and that's what we're going to go out there and do," DeRozan said. “They reacted as they should have. We didn't come out and compete like we should have and that's a lesson for us.

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Heat, Pat Riley have their own decision drafts

The question is whether the announced pick on June 23 even needs to be sized for his heat draft hat. It's not that the Heat shy away from competitive youth, it's just that they rarely develop... (Author: Gardener)

Pat RileyWhile the NFL is poised to pounce on draft talent, the Miami Heat have found their place in the NBA draft. Does he have to deal with the probably never deeper development pipeline? From the Department of Why Bother? On Monday, the NBA took the time to break the tie for the 2022 Miami Heat first-round draft pick, with No. 27 now owned by Pat Riley and his front office. The question is whether the announced pick on June 23 even needs to be sized for his heat draft hat. It's not that the Heat shy away from competitive youth, it's just that the development pipeline has rarely been so stacked. With NBA-ready Caleb Martin moving to a standard contract, the Heat have Mychel Mulder and Javonte Smart primed for the Summer League, with both on two-way contracts for next season. There was also Haywood Highsmith's mid-season move to a standard, partially guaranteed contract, with the 25-year-old forward also providing development details. Then there's center Omer Yurtseven, last year's standout summer whose 2021-22 development program was disrupted by the return of Bam Adebayo after thumb surgery and the team's turn to a win-now focus in the playoff race. Additionally, there are the ties to Marcus Garrett, the security guard who continued to rehab at Heat's facilities after wrist surgery in January, and big man Micah Potter, who earned All-Rookie honors this season with Heat's G Association the league. It's no surprise, then, that the Heat will return to two summer leagues in July. The Heat could already have an offseason development list that includes Mulder, Smart, Highsmith, Yurtseven, Garrett and Potter. And that's not even coming into the youth of former two-wayers and ongoing development projects Gabe Vincent, 25, and Max Strus, 26. (Both were with the team in the 2021 Summer League, with little need to return this summer.) So Where's the heat when it comes to the draft on the rarest occasions when their first pick comes up much sooner than where the Miami Dolphins will pick in next week's NFL draft? Most likely considering cost benefit analysis as well as commercial value. While the rookie gamut for June draft #27 pick is $1.84 million, or about the minimum for veterans, even such numbers can get in the way of the luxury tax, as was the case when The Heat decided to sell for second place in 2019. Round pick KZ Okpala in February to the Oklahoma City Thunder for luxury tax roster relief. Additionally, No. 27 could also serve as a trade sweetener, perhaps if the Heat see the need to offload the $16.9 million due Duncan Robinson next season. To the most recent No. 27 selections included Pascal Siakam, Rudy Gobert, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Kyle Kuzma, Robert Williams, Larry Nance Jr. Heck and Dennis Rodman, who picked up from No. 27 was inducted into the Hall of Fame (when that pick came in at number two). round). But with their trade deadline deal with The Thunder pushing back the need to carry a first-round pick no earlier than 2025, the Heat are free to trade their 2022 first-round pick at any time — today, tomorrow, around the draft, after the draft. By flipping its 2022 first-round pick against another team's future first-round pick, it could unlock a similar freedom to distribute first-round picks in subsequent years (an opportunity now strained as of 2024 due to Oklahoma's protected pick). City, although teams cannot be without first-round picks in consecutive future drafts). So, yes, the Heat got their first win of the season over the Golden State Warriors when they won the draft tiebreaker after both teams finished the regular season 53-29. But this Heat roster, featuring the win-now talents of Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry, hardly has time to wait for No. 27 to become a contributor, especially when the development pipeline is already so full. For those who insist on considering the possibilities, the Heat row at No. 27 includes: Milwaukee forward Patrick Baldwin Jr., G-League contender MarJon Beauchamp, Ohio State wing Malaki Branham, Alabama guard JD Davison, Serbia forward Nikola Jovic, Duke guard Trevor Keels, Auburn center Walter Kessler (nephew of the late Heat big man Alec Kessler), Ohio State forward E. Interim playoff results could well play a role. A BIG FAN: Warriors forward Draymond Green, who turned down the chance for the award himself largely due to missed time through injury, instead lashed out at those who didn't have Heat's Adebayo as a finalist for Defensive Player of the Year, which ended up being the Case went to Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics. "It was a shame that Bam Adebayo wasn't in the top three," Green said on his podcast. "I'm not sure what Bam needs to do to get in the top three. But I think we all know how ridiculous it is that Bam Adebayo, who takes first place in the East, didn't make the top three. Bam, I'm not sure what you have to do, my brother." Green, who teamed with Adebayo for Olympic gold last summer, added, "It's not paying off for me. I see Bam Adebayo. i see you bam I appreciate your defense. 61. PICK RISE: In years past, the goal for the Heat has often been to pick the No. 61 straight out of the NBA draft, rumored to be the best player not drafted. That included her poker face with Duncan Robinson during the 2018 drafting process. Again, without a second-round pick, as seems to always be the case, the hunt will be on Mr. 59. This is an election after the election ends in June. What would have been the No. 55 pick was forfeited by the Heat as a result of the NBA's decision on early contact with Kyle Lowry before free agency last summer. And what would have been No. 54 was forfeited by the Milwaukee Bucks for their free-agency shenanigans in the 2020 offseason with Bogdan Bogdanovic signing with the Hawks instead and taking on the Heat in that first round. The forfeited heat pick was the one received by the Denver Nuggets for rights to center bol bol in the 2019 draft night trade. The Heat won't hold their own pick for the second round until 2028. TANK TIME: Now that Khris Middleton's injury loss is at stake, one could argue that karma has caught up with the Bucks. The Bucks, who are ranked No. 2 in the East on the final day of the regular season, instead faced off against the Cleveland Cavaliers to move into the seemingly easier No. 3 no. 6 opening round matchup against the Chicago Bulls. However, that decision came at the expense of the Celtics' jump to 2nd place. Price could now face the Celtics as a road team in the Eastern Conference Semifinals if both teams advance. And the way the Celtics have played could turn out to be a caution-for-what-you-wish scenario. For their part, the Heat went after and finished at No. 1, with homecourt in the entire east bracket of the playoffs. (Although the Heat missed a chance to host an NBA Finals against the Warriors with a final night win in Orlando as they seeded their starters. LEARNING EXPERIENCE: Last but not least, Precious Achiuwa got the first-round pick from Heat 2020, arguably the worst moment of his NBA -Career was over relatively early when he missed two free throws in the last few seconds that could have given the Toronto Raptors a Game 3 win over the Philadelphia 76ers minutes into the playoffs, I'm just learning," said Achiuwa. I definitely know In case I'll come back here many times in my career, it's a learning experience that will keep me moving forward," said Raptors veteran guard Fred VanVleet. "He'll lose some sleep on free throws like all of us. Streaks won since 2009 (Erik Spoelstra's first season as coach) for Spoelstra and Steve Kerr, who tied the most in the NBA during that span.

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Heat's Lowry hamstring injury; G4 status in the air

Miami Heat guard Kyle Lowry said he plans to seek round-the-clock treatment after walking out of Game 3 on Friday night with a left hamstring injury. (Author: Gardener)

G4Heat coach Erik Spoelstra says Kyle Lowry injured his hamstring in Game 3 but isn't sure how serious the injury is. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra says Kyle Lowry injured his hamstring in Game 3 but isn't sure how serious the injury is. ATLANTA — Miami Heat point guard Kyle Lowry suffered a left hamstring injury in the third quarter of the Hawks' 111-110 Game 3 win Friday night. He could only watch from the bench as Eastern Conference No. 8 Atlanta went from a double-digit deficit to a 2-1 tie against the No. 1 in the first-round best-of-seven playoff series to reach the heat . "I'm mad as hell," Lowry told ESPN as he exited State Farm Arena after the game with a noticeable limp. Lowry told ESPN he plans to get 24-hour treatment before Game 4 on Sunday. When asked if the injury could mean he could be out at any time during the series, he brushed aside any concerns. Lowry left the game at 1:59 in the third quarter and 13 points clear of the Heat. The Hawks finished the quarter on a 6-1 run and then edged Miami 34-25 in the fourth to settle matters with a three-pointer from Trae Young (10 of his 24 points in the fourth), Bogdan Bogdanovic (nine of his 18 points in the fourth) and Delon Wright (five of his 13 points in fourth). "Right now all I know is it's a hamstring," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said after the game when asked about Lowry. "But I don't know how hard it is and we'll find out more tomorrow." Lowry had just six points in 2-for-7 shooting and five assists in Game 3 but recorded in the 23 minutes he was on the pitch was plus-minus plus-18 as the best team. The Heat had 25 assists for their first 31 baskets (80.6%) in the first three quarters, but assisted just five of 10 field goals in the fourth quarter, with Lowry out when Miami's offense turned into multiple long-jump shots down the stretch . "I know we love this guy as our point guard," said Jimmy Butler, who had 20 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists but missed a potential game win of 3 on the buzzer. But we have enough in this dressing room trying to bring what Kyle is doing to the table.

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Largest Atlanta Hawks & Miami Heat Logos Light...

NBA Playoffs: The 700-foot-tall Paramount Miami Worldcenter lights up the tallest Atlanta Hawks logo (Bryan Glazer | World Satellite Television News) (Author: Gardener)

Largest Atlanta Hawks &The 700-foot Paramount Miami Worldcenter skyscraper ignites the world's tallest basketball player digital silhouette image during the NBA playoff games between the Miami Heat and the Atlanta Hawks. MIAMI, FL, U.S., April 23, 2022 /EINPresswire.com / -- In honor of the Atlanta Hawks' victory in Game 3 of the NBA playoffs over the Miami Heat, the city of Miami lights up its skyline with the world's tallest digital basketball player- Image, the world's largest Atlanta Hawks L.E.D. Logo and the world's most massive electronic Miami Heat emblem at the 60-story Paramount Miami Worldcenter skyscraper in downtown Miami. It has the highest and most technologically advanced animation lighting system in the world. The ultra-luxurious, $600 million Paramount Miami Worldcenter is one block west of Miami's FTX Arena, home of the Miami Heat. Paramount is the sixth tallest building south of New York City. Paramount Miami Worldcenter's Skydeck Crown glows with a 100 yard wide, 100 foot high digital silhouette image of a basketball player dribbling. When the player passes the ball, the canopy morphs into a 300-foot-wide, 100-foot-tall Atlanta Hawks icon with a white feathered head and red beak. It then resolves into an image of the Atlanta and Miami logos side by side, and then into a single image of the Miami Heat's yellow and red fireball. The digital phrases "NBA Playoffs", "Go Heat" and "#1 Miami" appear through the 233-meter-tall central column of the Paramount Miami Worldcenter. The dual-logo tower illumination will last into the dawn and dusk hours of this weekend and next week during the first round of the playoffs. The Paramount Miami Worldcenter tower is illuminated daily from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. and at night from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. until 12:10 a.m. The tower lighting takes place every hour on the hour for a period of 10 minutes. Paramount Miami Worldcenter skyscraper is built with 16,000 l. The building's Color Kinetics lighting system can produce a combination of 16.2 million colors. It took a team of 12 technicians three years to install the unique Paramount Miami Worldcenter lighting system at a cost of $3 million. The futuristic Paramount Tower rises from the heart of the $4 billion, 27-acre Miami Worldcenter. Paramount, the world's most furnished condominium tower, is often referred to as the "vertical country club." It also features the world's first Jetsons-style skyport for flying cars. Several NBA players reside in the 524-unit skyscraper. "The Paramount Miami Worldcenter NBA Playoffs Tower Lightings are luminous beacons that reflect the shimmering spirit of Miami," said Daniel Kodsi, CEO of the Royal Palm Companies - developer of the Paramount Miami Worldcenter pro basketball team and its fans." He continues, " In these worrying times, it is our intention to brighten the lives of those in our community with a light show celebrating victory.” Company CEO Gavin Cooper has designed lighting systems for some of the world's most recognizable landmarks, including the Empire State Building. It is recommended that TV news crews and photographers consider setting up live vans and tripods in the vacant lots west of Paramount along N. The best images of the Paramount Miami Worldcenter can be taken from its west side as opposed to the east side along Biscayne Blvd. The closer a camera is to the building; the more pixelated the images.

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Young hits floater with 4.4 left, Hawks beat heat 111-110

ATLANTA (AP) -- Trae Young struggled in the first two games of the playoffs. (Author: Gardener)

HawksAtlanta Hawks' Trae Young celebrates after a 3-pointer in the first half of Game 3 of a first round NBA basketball playoff series against the Miami Heat, Friday, April 22, 2022, in Atlanta. Atlanta Hawks' Delon Wright (0) shoots alongside Miami Heat's Bam Adebayo (13) while Heat's Kyle Lowry (right) during the first half of Game 3 of a first round NBA basketball playoff series on Friday, May 22 April 2022, Atlanta is watching. Miami Heat center Dewayne Dedmon dives over teammates Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro and Atlanta Hawks Delon Wright and Onyeka Okongwu during the first half of Game 3 of an Eastern Conference first round NBA basketball playoff series on Friday, May 22. April 2022, Atlanta. Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra gestures during the first half of Game 3 of the team's first round NBA Basketball Playoff Series against the Atlanta Hawks on Friday, April 22, 2022, in Atlanta. Miami Heat guard Kyle Lowry, left, tries to pass the ball to Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins during the first half of Game 3 of an NBA basketball first round Eastern Conference playoff series Friday, April 22, 2022, in Atlanta to steal. Atlanta Hawks guard Bogdan Bogdanovic, center, shoots over teammate Onyeka Okongwu and Miami Heat center Dewayne Dedmon (21) during the first half of Game 3 of a first round NBA basketball playoff series Friday, April 22, 2022 in Atlanta . Atlanta Hawks guard Delon Wright shoots in front of Miami Heat defensemen Kyle Lowry (left) and Jimmy Butler (right) during the first half of Game 3 of a first round NBA basketball playoff series on Friday, April 22, 2022, in Atlanta. Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) shoots between Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) and guard Kyle Lowry during the first half of Game 3 of a first round NBA basketball playoff series on Friday, April 22, 2022, in Atlanta. Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) tackles in the second half of Game 3 of a first round NBA basketball playoff series Friday, May 22. A security guard speaks to a fan after three goals were scored over a suspect Package closed prior to Game 3 of a first round NBA basketball playoff series between the Atlanta Hawks and the Miami Heat on Friday, April 22, 2022 in Atlanta. Fans enter a gate after three others were closed due to a suspicious package prior to Game 3 of a first round NBA basketball playoff series between the Atlanta Hawks and the Miami Heat on Friday, April 22, 2022 in Atlanta. Security personnel stand on the concourse after three gates were shut due to a suspicious package prior to Game 3 of an Eastern Conference first round NBA basketball playoff series between the Atlanta Hawks and the Miami Heat on Friday, April 22, 2022 in Atlanta became. ATLANTA (AP) -- Trae Young struggled in the first two games of the playoffs. With Game 3 at stake and the season in the balance, the Atlanta Hawks wanted the ball in his hands. Young delivered and hit a swimmer on the lane with 4.4 seconds left, giving the Hawks a 111-110 win over top seeded Miami on Friday night after Atlanta overcame a 16-point deficit in the second half. The Hawks cut the Heat's lead to 2-1. Jimmy Butler missed a jumper by 12.6 seconds that could have given the Heat a three-point cushion. The Hawks snagged the rebound and got the ball into Young's hands, missing a chance to call a time-out. “We got the rebound down by one with the ball in Trae's hands. Miami had another chance to win it, but Butler again missed an unbalanced 3 on the buzzer with De'Andre Hunter in the face to give the Hawks a boost of hope in the best-of-seven series. "The plan was to break free, shoot it and make it," Butler said. Tucker led a 21-0 run in the third quarter that put the Heat to an 84-68 lead and seemingly on cruise control to a 3-0 lead. The Heat also struggled with an injury to point guard Kyle Lowry, who retired in the third quarter with a hamstring problem and did not return. "I love this guy as our point guard," Butler said. After being pinned on eight points by Miami in Game 1 and committing a career-worst 10 turnovers in Game 2, Young looked more like himself on his home court. He had 24 points and turned despite another strong Heat defensive effort them only three times. And of course, Young got the shot that really counted in the end. Bogdan Bogdanovic added 18 points, Hunter 17 and three others scored double digits to take some of the pressure off the Stargarde. With 45 points in Game 3, the best playoff game of his career, Butler was held to 20 in that game, missing a prime opportunity to put Miami on the verge of victory. Tyler Herro led the Heat with 24 points and Max Strus also had 20. The Hawks led by 11 points in the first half and were still leading 68-63 when Hunter threw a 3 in the third half with just under eight minutes to go -Pointer hit. That's when Miami suddenly took control of a game that was delayed about 45 minutes after a suspicious package was found outside State Farm Arena before the game. The Heat cranked up their suffocating defense, parrying shots and silencing a sell-out crowd used to seeing the Hawks win at home. Tucker scored eight points in the six minutes, but his best work came from Young at the other end. Leaning on him so much that Young pushed him away in frustration during an inbounds game, Tucker, 36, used every trick in the book to choke on just the second player in NBA history to top the league in total points and led assists. Tipoff was delayed after the suspicious package was found outside Gate 2 of the arena, near a stairwell that provides access to a MARTA subway station. Three gates were closed, preventing fans from entering while police, K-9 units and arena security cleared the area and examined the package. The 4 healthiest cooking oils according to a nutritionist The benefits of apple cider vinegar according to a... Despite the delay, many fans were still stuck in long lines outside the arena when the game started. Bogdanovic made four 3-pointers, Wright had 13 points, and Onyeka Okongwu had nine points and six rebounds. "Obviously, having multiple players who can dribble and make plays makes it a lot easier for me," Young said. Heat: Tucker had 11 points. Butler nearly had a triple-double with 10 rebounds and eight assists. Bam Adebayo had 13 points and 11 rebounds. Hawks: John Collins again started at center in place of the injured Clint Capela, who has not yet starred in the series but has not played a major role. Collins struggled again with an injured finger, managing just six points and five rebounds. The Hawks have built up quite a home field advantage since mid-January, winning 21 of their last 24 games in the A-T-L.

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Heat's Lowry hamstring injury; G4 status in the air

Miami Heat guard Kyle Lowry said he plans to seek round-the-clock treatment after walking out of Game 3 on Friday night with a left hamstring injury. (Author: Gardener)

G4ATLANTA — Miami Heat point guard Kyle Lowry suffered a left hamstring injury in the third quarter of the Hawks' 111-110 Game 3 win Friday night. He could only watch from the bench as Eastern Conference No. 8 Atlanta went from a double-digit deficit to a 2-1 tie against the No. 1 in the first-round best-of-seven playoff series "I'm mad as hell," Lowry told ESPN as he exited State Farm Arena with a noticeable limp after Game 4. When asked if the injury could cause him to miss the series could fail at any time, he brushed aside all concerns. "No, I'm Wolverine," Lowry said with a lopsided smile, referring to the X-Men comic book character known for his superhuman healing powers. Lowry left the game at 1:59 in the third quarter and 13 points clear of the Heat. He didn't return. The Hawks finished the quarter on a 6-1 run and then outplayed Miami 34-25 in the fourth to wrap things up with a three-guard lineup from Trae Young (10 of his 24 points in the fourth). Bogdan Bogdanovic (nine of his 18 points in fourth place) and Delon Wright (five of his 13 points in fourth place). "All I know right now is it's a hamstring," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said after the game when asked about Lowry. "But I don't know how hard it is and we'll find out more tomorrow." Lowry had just six points in 2-on-7 shooting and five assists in Game 3 but recorded a plus-minus plus as team-best - 18 in the 23 minutes he was on the pitch. The Heat had 25 assists in their first 31 baskets in the first three quarters (80.6%), but assisted just five of 10 field goals in the fourth quarter, with Lowry out as Miami's offense led to several long-jump shots down the stretch. "I know we love this guy as our point guard," said Jimmy Butler, who had 20 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists but missed a potential game win of 3 on the buzzer. But we have enough in this dressing room trying to bring what Kyle is doing to the table.

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Young hits floater with 4.4 left, Hawks beat heat 111-110

Trae Young hit a floater on the lane with 4.4 seconds left and the Atlanta Hawks overcame a 16-point deficit in the second half to beat top seed Miami 111-110 on Friday night and take the Heat series lead to 2 : 1 to shorten (Author: Gardener)

HawksHeat Hawks Basketball Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young celebrates after a 3-pointer in the first half of Game 3 of a first round NBA basketball playoff series against the Miami Heat, Friday, April 22, 2022, in Atlanta. Heat Hawks Basketball Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young celebrates after a 3-pointer in the first half of Game 3 of a first round NBA basketball playoff series against the Miami Heat, Friday, April 22, 2022, in Atlanta. ATLANTA - (AP) - Trae Young struggled in the first two games of the playoffs. With Game 3 at stake and the season in the balance, the Atlanta Hawks wanted the ball in his hands. Young delivered and hit a swimmer on the lane with 4.4 seconds left, giving the Hawks a 111-110 win over top seeded Miami on Friday night after Atlanta overcame a 16-point deficit in the second half. The Hawks cut the Heat's lead to 2-1. "I had no doubts," said Young. Jimmy Butler missed a jumper by 12.6 seconds that could have given the Heat a three-point cushion. The Hawks snagged the rebound and got the ball into Young's hands, missing a chance to call a time-out. "There was no way I wanted to take a break there," said Hawks coach Nate McMillan. “We got the rebound down by one with the ball in Trae's hands. Miami had another chance to win it, but Butler again missed an unbalanced 3 on the buzzer with De'Andre Hunter in the face to give the Hawks a boost of hope in the best-of-seven series. "The plan was to break free, shoot it and make it," Butler said. Tucker led a 21-0 run in the third quarter that put the Heat to an 84-68 lead and seemingly on cruise control to a 3-0 lead. But Young and the Hawks wouldn't let her escape. The Heat also struggled with an injury to point guard Kyle Lowry, who retired in the third quarter with a hamstring problem and did not return. "I love this guy as our point guard," Butler said. After being pinned on eight points by Miami in Game 1 and committing a career-worst 10 turnovers in Game 2, Young looked more like himself on his home court. He had 24 points and turned despite another strong Heat defensive effort them only three times. And of course, Young got the shot that really counted in the end. Bogdan Bogdanovic added 18 points, Hunter 17 and three others scored double digits to take some of the pressure off the Stargarde. With 45 points in Game 3, the best playoff game of his career, Butler was held to 20 in that game, missing a prime opportunity to put Miami on the verge of victory. Tyler Herro led the Heat with 24 points and Max Strus also had 20. The Hawks led by 11 points in the first half and were still leading 68-63 when Hunter threw a 3 in the third half with just under eight minutes to go -Pointer hit. That's when Miami suddenly took control of a game that was delayed about 45 minutes after a suspicious package was found outside State Farm Arena before the game. The Heat cranked up their suffocating defense, parrying shots and silencing a sell-out crowd used to seeing the Hawks win at home. Tucker scored eight points in the six minutes, but his best work came from Young at the other end. Leaning on him so much that Young pushed him away in frustration during an inbounds game, Tucker, 36, used every trick in the book to choke on just the second player in NBA history to top the league in total points and led assists. Tipoff was delayed after the suspicious package was found outside Gate 2 of the arena, near a stairwell that provides access to a MARTA subway station. Three gates were closed, preventing fans from entering while police, K-9 units and arena security cleared the area and examined the package. Despite the delay, many fans were still stuck in long lines outside the arena when the game started. The Hawks went off the bench with just three players, but all made great contributions. Bogdanovic made four 3-pointers, Wright had 13 points, and Onyeka Okongwu had nine points and six rebounds. Most significantly, all three played the entire fourth quarter, forming an effective group with Young. "Obviously, having multiple players who can dribble and make plays makes it a lot easier for me," Young said. Heat: Tucker had 11 points. Butler nearly had a triple-double with 10 rebounds and eight assists. Bam Adebayo had 13 points and 11 rebounds. Hawks: John Collins again started at center in place of the injured Clint Capela, who has not yet starred in the series but has not played a major role. Collins struggled again with an injured finger, managing just six points and five rebounds. The Hawks have built up quite a home field advantage since mid-January, winning 21 of their last 24 games in the A-T-L. They will be aiming for their seventh straight home win in Game 4.

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Atlanta Hawks beat Miami Heat as Trae Young hits Floater by 4.4 seconds

Atlanta overcomes a 16-point deficit in the second half and the Hawks cut the Heat series lead to 2-1. (Author: Gardener)

Atlanta HawksATLANTA — Trae Young struggled in the first two games of the playoffs. With Game 3 at stake and the season in the balance, the Atlanta Hawks wanted the ball in his hands. Young delivered and hit a swimmer on the lane with 4.4 seconds left, giving the Hawks a 111-110 win over top seeded Miami on Friday night after Atlanta overcame a 16-point deficit in the second half. "I had no doubts," said Young. Jimmy Butler missed a jumper by 12.6 seconds that could have given the Heat a three-point cushion. The Hawks snagged the rebound and got the ball into Young's hands, missing a chance to call a time-out. "There was no way I wanted to take a break there," said Hawks coach Nate McMillan. “We took the rebound down one with the ball in Trae's hands. Miami still had a chance to win it, but Butler again missed an unbalanced three on the buzzer with De'Andre Hunter in the face to give the Hawks a glimmer of hope in the best-of-seven series. Tucker led a 21-0 run in the third quarter that put the Heat to an 84-68 lead and seemingly on cruise control to a 3-0 lead. But Young and the Hawks wouldn't let her escape. The Heat also struggled with an injury to point guard Kyle Lowry, who retired in the third quarter with a hamstring problem and did not return. "I love this guy as our point guard," Butler said. "If he's with us, yippee ki-yay. If not, someone will step in and do their job. After being pinned on eight points in Miami's Game 1 blowout and committing a career-worst 10 turnovers in Game 2, Young looked more like himself on his home court. He had 24 points despite another strong Heat defensive effort, turning over just three times. And of course, Young got the shot that really counted in the end. Bogdan Bogdanovic added 18 points, Hunter 17 and three others scored double digits to take some of the pressure off the Stargarde. With 45 points in Game 3, the best playoff game of his career, Butler was held to 20 in that game, missing a prime opportunity to put Miami on the verge of victory. Tyler Herro led the Heat with 24 points and Max Strus also had 20. The Hawks led by 11 points in the first half and were still leading 68-63 when Hunter hit a three-pointer with just under eight minutes to go. That's when Miami suddenly took control of a game that was delayed about 45 minutes after a suspicious package was found outside State Farm Arena before the game. The Heat cranked up their suffocating defense, parrying shots and silencing a sell-out crowd used to seeing the Hawks win at home. Tucker scored eight points in the six minutes, but his best work came from Young at the other end. Leaning on him so much that Young pushed him away in frustration during an inbound game, Tucker, 36, used every trick in the book to choke on just the second player in NBA history to break the league in terms of the Total points and assists led. Tipoff was delayed after the suspicious package was found outside Gate 2 of the arena, near a stairwell that provides access to a MARTA subway station. Three gates were closed, preventing fans from entering while police, K-9 units and arena security cleared the area and examined the package. Despite the delay, many fans were still stuck in long lines outside the arena when the game started. Most significantly, all three played the entire fourth quarter, forming an effective group with Young. "If you have multiple guys who can dribble and make plays, it sure makes it a lot easier for me," Young said. Heat: Tucker had 11 points. Butler nearly had a triple-double with 10 rebounds and eight assists. Bam Adebayo had 13 points and 11 rebounds. Hawks: John Collins again started at center in place of the injured Clint Capela, who has not yet starred in the series but has not played a major role. Collins struggled again with an injured finger, managing just six points and five rebounds. The Hawks have built up quite a home field advantage since mid-January, winning 21 of their last 24 games in the A-T-L. They will be aiming for their seventh straight home win in Game 4.

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