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NBA - US Sports: Shorthanded Heat seal series win

Miami Heat overcame Atlanta Hawks 97-94 on Tuesday to win their first round series 4-1 despite being without key pair Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry in Game 5.

Miami, who are the top seeds in the East, are 11/2 to go all the way and win the NBA Championship outright.

Adebayo steps up

Butler had 36 points and 10 rebounds in the Heat's 110-86 Game 4 victory but was forced to sit out the fifth meeting due to inflammation in his right knee.

Lowry missed out for the second game in a row due to a left hamstring issue, but Miami's supporting cast stepped up as Victor Oladipo led the Heat in scoring with 23 points and Max Strus, who went undrafted in 2019, added 15.

Bam Adebayo had 20 points and 11 rebounds and Tyler Herro managed 16 points.

"A year ago today I was expecting and waiting for my next surgery," said Oladipo, who has struggled with knee and quadriceps issues over the last four years, via abc News.

"I remember a year ago today, around this time last year, I was sitting in a dark room by myself and just broke down. Not because I quit, but because I was at the lowest point I could be at.

"And now, God has put me in this position today so I just made the most of it."

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Waiting for opponents

The Heat will play the winner of the series between Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors in the next round and they will have at least six days of rest before they return to action. 

The Sixers lead the series 3-2 ahead of Game 6 on Thursday, and if the Raptors manage to tie the series Miami will have a few extra days off court to try and get Butler and Lowry healthy again for their next task.

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