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(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Josh Richardson Misses Game Winning Three As Heat Fall to Hawks

It almost seemed as if the torch was being passed as Dwyane Wade passed to Josh Richardson for what was a wide open game winning three-point attempt.

The shot hit the front of the rim and bounced off the backboard before giving the Heat a 115-113 loss to the then league worst Atlanta Hawks. Richardson led the way with his 22 points to go along with his eight rebounds and four assists.

Comeback Fell Short

The Hawks at one point in the game held a 19 point lead before Miami stormed back to take the lead with 5:04 remaining.

Atlanta answered back with a 7-0 run and never gave up the lead again. Hawks rookie Trae Young had another solid game as he scored 17 points and dished out 10 assists.

Simply put Miami should have won the game considering they won both the turnover and rebound battles. Where the Heat lost the game was at the free throw line. Miami shot a mediocre 20-30 at the charity stripe. Atlanta took advantage as they made 27 of their 32 free throw attempts.

Wade off his recent 35 point performance on Sunday night scored 18 points on 6-11 shooting.

Big man Hassan Whiteside sat out the entire fourth quarter for the third consecutive game. That raises question marks but is not unusual to see from Head Coach Erik Spoelstra. It is not common to see the highest paid player on the team sit out the 4th quarter when healthy but we’ve seen this before. Whiteside was 11th on the team last season when it came to 4th quarter minutes.

Trending Downward

It has been an ugly season for the Heat so far, especially when they look good.

Miami is 0-6 when rocking their special ‘vice’ uniforms this season. It goes beyond that as the Heat rank in the bottom five in the league in defensive efficiency and dead last in shooting percentage.

With all that being said there is no excuse for losing to the team with a 1-9 road record. Atlanta came into the game with the league’s worst net rating. There is an argument to be made that Atlanta is the worst team in the NBA.

With the loss, the Heat now find themselves with the sixth worst record in the NBA at 7-13. They have lost five out of their last six games. It could get even uglier if they do not find a way to win at home, a place where they currently are 3-8 on the year.

Miami has three games remaining in what is a crucial home stand before they hit the road for a six-game west coast trip. Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans visit the American Airlines Arena on Friday night.

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