The Hawks said the things you expect to hear from a road team losing the first two games of a best-of-seven playoff series.

The Heat did what they are supposed to do, hold home court. Now the series goes back to Atlanta. The shots just weren’t falling for the Hawks in Game 2 on Tuesday. The whistles weren’t favorable. The series isn’t close to being over.

All that is true, so far as it goes. None of it changes this reality: Miami has been the much better team while winning two games by double-digit margins. The Hawks were a great home team late in the season but going back to Atlanta won’t fix the issues the Heat exposed.

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The Hawks are supposed to win with their offense. They had two bad scoring games against Miami’s swarming defense. Trae Young is their best player, but Miami has kept him in check. The Hawks were bad on defense in Game 1. They couldn’t guard the Heat without fouling in Game 2.

The Hawks gave a more spirited effort on Tuesday. They still lost, 115-105, after trailing by three points with three minutes to play. Game 3 is Friday at State Farm Arena.

“It’s tough,” Young said. “We felt like we let one slide. You can’t let it linger too far. We’ve got another game in two days. If the refs are going to let them be as physical as they are and not call fouls it’s going to be hard to do anything, anyway.”

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Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) reacts after bring fouled by Miami Heat forward P.J. Tucker during the second half of Game 2 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 19, 2022, in Miami. The Heat won 115-105. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Credit: AP

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) reacts after bring fouled by Miami Heat forward P.J. Tucker during the second half of Game 2 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 19, 2022, in Miami. The Heat won 115-105. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Credit: AP

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Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) reacts after bring fouled by Miami Heat forward P.J. Tucker during the second half of Game 2 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 19, 2022, in Miami. The Heat won 115-105. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

That was Young’s answer to a question about the Hawks playing more aggressively. It’s not a good sign that he used the opportunity to gripe about the officials. The Heat are a physical defensive team. Sometimes the Hawks won’t get calls. They just need to play through it.

Young hasn’t handled it well. He had seven assists and 10 turnovers in Game 2. He had four assists and six turnovers in Game 1. It’s the first time he’s had back-to-back games with more turnovers than assists. Young had just one game like that during the regular season. It was against the Heat on Jan. 21.

“They are being aggressive and being in their gaps and really just forcing us to make threes,” Young said.

The Hawks, the league’s best 3-pointing team, made just 12 of 40 tries. They might have survived the poor shooting if not for all the fouls and turnovers. The Hawks had 19 giveaways. The Heat had 25 free-throw attempts before the Hawks started taking fouls in the final minute.

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Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) reacts after being fouled by Miami Heat forward P.J. Tucker (17) during the second half of Game 2 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 19, 2022, in Miami. The Heat won 115-105. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Credit: AP

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) reacts after being fouled by Miami Heat forward P.J. Tucker (17) during the second half of Game 2 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 19, 2022, in Miami. The Heat won 115-105. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Credit: AP

Combined ShapeCaption
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) reacts after being fouled by Miami Heat forward P.J. Tucker (17) during the second half of Game 2 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 19, 2022, in Miami. The Heat won 115-105. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Some of Young’s turnovers were careless. Two of them hurt the Hawks at key moments of the second half.

A bad pass by Young in the third quarter led to an open 3-pointer by Jimmy Butler that started an 11-0 run. In the fourth quarter, Butler swiped Young’s nonchalant pass and went for a dunk that pushed Miami’s advantage to 102-93.

“I’ve got to do a better job obviously of taking care of the ball and being stronger with the ball, and I will when we get back home,” Young said.

The Hawks trailed by two points at the break despite missing 16 of 22 3-point shots. In Game 1 they spent too much time dribbling and passing. Now they were working to get the ball inside. The Heat wanted to bully them with Butler and Bam Adebayo in the paint. The Hawks were making them work.

Then the Hawks came out of halftime with sloppy, unfocused play.

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Atlanta Hawks guard Kevin Huerter, second from right, during the second half of Game 2 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 19, 2022, in Miami. The Heat won 115-105. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Credit: AP

Atlanta Hawks guard Kevin Huerter, second from right, during the second half of Game 2 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 19, 2022, in Miami. The Heat won 115-105. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Credit: AP

Combined ShapeCaption
Atlanta Hawks guard Kevin Huerter, second from right, during the second half of Game 2 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 19, 2022, in Miami. The Heat won 115-105. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Young had five turnovers in the third quarter. The Hawks got distracted with officials. In the third quarter, Hawks players were complaining about a travel call against John Collins. They weren’t ready when the ball was put into play. Max Strus made an open 3-pointer in transition for a 75-62 lead.

Said Hawks coach Nate McMillan: “Nothing you can do about it once that call is made. You have to control your emotions and get back to calm so you can be clear about what you need to do and it cannot become a distraction.”

Miami’s lead was 87-76 after three quarters. It swelled to 94-78 four minutes later. The Hawks rallied behind Bogdan Bogdanovic’s shooting. He made four 3-pointers during a 13-3 run. His fadeaway 3-pointer from the corner over Butler trimmed Miami’s advantage to 104-101 with four minutes to go.

That’s as close at the Hawks could get to the lead. Young missed an open 3-pointer. Butler drove for a dunk as Young reached for the ball. Butler made a 3-pointer while falling out of bounds. Then he went end-to-end for a layup with little resistance.

Heat 115, Hawks 105

Butler scored a career playoff-high 45 points with five assists and no turnovers

“He found a rhythm and he stayed aggressive, and we really didn’t have an answer for guarding him tonight,” McMillan said.

There were some positive developments for the Hawks. Bogdanovic scored a team-high 29 points in 29 minutes while making 12 of 18 shots. Collins played 28 minutes in his second game back after a month on the injured list and had 13 points and 10 rebounds. The Hawks mostly controlled Heat scorers other than Butler.

After the Hawks were caught flat-footed by Miami’s intensity in Game 1, they matched it in Game 2.

“We came out with a lot of energy,” Hawks forward De’Andre Hunter said. “We were competing. Things just didn’t go our way at the end. We can do the same thing in Atlanta and if we cut down on turnovers, we’ll be in better shape.”

The Hawks need to be a lot better in Atlanta. They left Miami with two decisive losses and a lot of questions about whether they can win this series.