Butler makes his Miami debut, Heat top Hawks 112-97
And then he watched Tyler Herro put on a show from there.
The rookie scored 29 points off the Heat bench, fellow reserve Goran Dragic scored 21 and Miami beat Atlanta 112-97 on Tuesday night in a game where Hawks star Trae Young left early in the second quarter with a sprained right ankle.
Herro was 7 for 9 from the field, 3 for 4 from 3-point range — and 12 for 16 from the foul line, making four of his trips there after getting fouled on 3-point tries.
“It doesn’t surprise me and I don’t think it surprises anyone in this building anymore,” Butler said. “It damn sure shouldn’t surprise anybody in the league. The guy’s a real player.”
Young left with 9:56 remaining in the first half, turning his ankle when he landed on the foot of Miami’s Justise Winslow. The reigning Eastern Conference player of the week — who had 102 points in Atlanta’s first three games — finished with five points in 11 minutes.
John Collins scored 30 for Atlanta, including a career-best five 3-pointers, and Jabari Parker finished with 12 for the Hawks.
“We turned them over 28 times,” Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce said. “We were really undisciplined defending 3-point shooters and fouling, but I thought our guys played until the horn blew. And that’s most important.”
Butler missed the first three games of the season while celebrating the birth of his daughter Rylee. He was 5 for 11 from the floor, and went 10 for 15 from the line. As a team, Miami was 33 for 45 from the line — compared with 16 for 24 by Atlanta at the stripe.
“To win at home, in front of these fans, is special,” Butler said.
Even without Young, even with Kevin Huerter — a starter last season — on a minutes restriction while he works his way back off knee soreness and with Evan Turner out with a sore Achilles, the Hawks still wouldn’t go away late. Tyrone Wallace made a pair of free throws to get Atlanta within 11 with 3:24 left, but the Hawks missed shots at the rim on their next two possessions and Miami put the game away.
Herro set a Heat record for points off the bench by a rookie, topping the mark of 28 set by Michael Beasley on March 4, 2009. And Herro and Dragic became the ninth Heat duo all-time to have 20-point games off the Miami bench on the same night.
“Jimmy will be a primary go-to guy for us,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “But he really plays the game the right way and allows other people to get into a rhythm.”
Hawks: Vince Carter played in Miami for the 35th time, finishing with seven points and became the fourth visiting player to score 700 in road games against the Heat — including playoffs. He now has 702 and joined Paul Pierce (867), Patrick Ewing (754) and Michael Jordan (722) in that club. … Atlanta plays its next four games at home.
Heat: Miami’s 472 points through four games is a franchise-high. The previous high was 447 in 2012-13. … Miami is 3-1 for the first time since the 2014-15 season. The Heat were 2-2 in each of the past four seasons. … Butler’s points were the most he’s ever scored in a debut for a team. He had two in his debut as a rookie in Chicago, 12 in his first game with Minnesota and 14 in his debut for Philadelphia last season.
Herro’s 19-point second quarter was the first time a Heat rookie scored that many in a quarter since Caron Butler had a 19-point third quarter on March 10, 2003. He said he cannot recall ever coming off the bench in his basketball life. But the Heat value having a strong second unit, and Herro — who started in Butler’s absence — may find himself in that mix. “As long as I’m playing my minutes that I’ve earned, I’m good,” Herro said.
COLLINS FROM DISTANCE
Collins’ single-game high for 3-pointers made entering Tuesday was four. He had four 3s in the first 8 minutes on Tuesday — after never having previously made more than two in any quarter of his first 138 NBA games.
The teams meet again Thursday in Atlanta to conclude a home-and-home series.