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Oladipo, short-handed Heat eliminate Hawks from NBA playoffs

Oladipo, short-handed Heat eliminate Hawks from NBA playoffs
Veteran guard Victor Oladipo (pictured) and the Miami Heat beat the Atlanta Hawks in Game 5 of their playoff series despite playing without stars Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry. Photo by Erik S. Lesser/EPA-EFE

April 27 (UPI) -- Victor Oladipo scored a team-high 23 points to lead the short-handed Miami Heat to a narrow Game 5 win over the Atlanta Hawks, wrapping up the first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.

The Heat closed out the series 4-1 with the 97-94 triumph Tuesday at FTX Arena in Miami. Miami won the game despite playing without injured stars Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry.

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"We had a great win and a great series, but the job isn't done yet," Oladipo told reporters. "There is still a lot more basketball left.

"I just gotta keep getting better."

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The top-seeded Heat advanced to a second-round matchup with either the No. 4 Philadelphia 76ers or No. 5 Toronto Raptors. The 76ers lead that best-of-seven game series 3-2.

"This was just a really inspiring, team win," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Everybody that played had their fingerprints on this.

"We clearly had some adversity, not having Kyle and Jimmy, but our group doesn't blink."

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The Heat led 54-42 at halftime in Game 5, but was outscored 52-43 over the final 24 minutes and managed to hang on in the fourth quarter.

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Miami outscored Atlanta 54-28 in the paint and 20-14 off turnovers. The game featured five lead changes and was tied six times.

Heat forward Max Strus scored a dozen in the second quarter to help his team carry the 12-point edge into the third.

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The Hawks went on an 8-0 run to start the frame and trailed 75-64 to start the fourth.

Hawks forward De'Andre Hunter scored 18 of his game-high 35 points over the final 12 minutes. The Hawks used a 10-0 run to cut the deficit to three points with 8:14 remaining.

Later, they used another run to make the score 97-94 with 56.9 seconds remaining, but couldn't convert over their last few possessions of the loss.

Hunter made 11 of 21 field goal attempts and totaled 11 rebounds for the Hawks. Hawks guard Trae Young made just 2 of 12 attempts and totaled 11 points.

Heat center Bam Adebayo totaled 20 points, 11 rebounds and four assists. Heat guard Tyler Herro scored 16 off the bench.

The Heat will host the 76ers or Raptors in Game 1 of their second-round matchup on Monday at FTX Arena. The Raptors host the 76ers in Game 5 of their series at 7 p.m. EDT Thursday in Toronto.

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