MIAMI -- The Hawks have strung together three wins in a row after downing the Heat 109-108 on Friday at the Kaseya Center.

Here are five observations:

1. For the second game in a row, Hawks guard Dejounte Murray put the exclamation point on an eventful night. The Hawks and Heat battled in the fourth quarter after they began the second half sluggishly after a nearly 30-minute halftime break.

But the Hawks (18-23) powered themselves to a 102-98 lead with just over two minutes to play. The Heat (24-18) went on a 10-2 run, sparked by a driving dunk from Jimmy Butler and capped off by a 3 from Tyler Herro. It put Miami up 108-104 with 36 seconds left to play.

The Hawks didn’t hang their head and leaned on strong defense instead. With eight seconds left to play, Herro called for a screen from Butler and got a switch onto Jalen Johnson. As Herro looked to drive, Johnson kept moving his feet and moving Herro to the baseline. Herro pulled up and Johnson contested the shot, forcing an airball.

Murray, who led the Hawks with 22 points, three rebounds and 11 assists, grabbed the rebound and got in transition before driving on Heat guard Caleb Martin and pulling up to sink a 26-foot jumper with two seconds left on the clock.

“It’s a confidence thing,” Murray said. “For me, I never lacked confidence a day in my life. So it’s great to have a bunch of guys that believe in me, but you know, they know that I believe in them first.”

2. The Hawks’ belief and trust in each other helped them put together one of their strongest defensive outings so far this season. On the play that led to Murray’s game-winning 3, Johnson sparked the stop by keeping Herro in front of him and making him work for the look.

But Saddiq Bey, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Onyeka Okongwu helped make it possible for Murray to grab the rebound with their physicality. Okongwu kept Heat big-man Bam Adebayo off the glass, holding out toward the free-throw line. With Adebayo occupied, Bey and Bogdanovic sealed off the rim and boxed out Heat wing Josh Richardson.

“I thought we really competed, especially on the defensive end,” Hawks coach Quin Snyder said. “That was something we’ve been talking about for some time, trying to be more and more consistent.”

3. The Hawks needed to compete and play connected on Friday, with the absence of two starters. Guard Trae Young missed Friday’s game with an illness, while wing De’Andre Hunter continued to rehab from a nonsurgical procedure to address knee inflammation. The Hawks are 2-1 without Young.

It forced the Hawks to dip into their reserves again, with the team relying on the veteran presence of Patty Mills, who sunk three 3-pointers to lead the bench with 11 points. Mills provided a stabilizing force for the Hawks, particularly in minutes where Murray went to the bench for a breather.

Garrison Mathews and Trent Forrest continued to carve their places in the rotation. Mathews played a season-high 20 minutes after giving the Hawks plenty of intensity on the defensive end. He also chipped in nine points off a season-high three 3-pointers.

The Hawks’ reserves outscored the Heat’s backups 32-25.

“We were unselfish and we competed and we were unbelievably connected,” Snyder said. “We didn’t respond when things didn’t go our way. We responded the right way.”

4. The Hawks won their third game in a row for the first time since Nov. 4, 2023. They’re five games below .500 at 18-23.

5. Heat legend Udonis Haslem saw his jersey hung in the rafters along with legends at halftime. Hall of Famers Alonzo Mourning, Tim Hardaway and Dwyane Wade were among Haslem’s former teammates in attendance to celebrate and honor the player who meant so much to the team and the city.

“I mean first of all, congratulations to Haslem,” Murray said. “He’s a real vet, a real professional. I call him an ‘OG.’ I just wanted to put that out there. But we wanted to spoil that night, tonight. We wanted to get the win tonight.”

Stat to know

1 -- Since the 1996-97 season, Dejounte Murray is the first Hawks player to have back-to-back game-winners in the last two seconds of a fourth quarter/overtime.


“It’s Dejounte Murray, with the ball in his hand, with the last couple of seconds. So I think it’s just amongst everybody we know and we trust him.” -- Jalen Johnson.

Up next

The Hawks return to the court on Saturday to host the Cavaliers at State Farm Arena.