Heat vs. Hawks Game 3 Tip Delayed as Security Investigates Suspicious Package

Adam WellsApril 22, 2022

State Farm Arena is viewed before an NBA basketball game between the Atlanta Hawks and the Cleveland Cavaliers, Thursday, March 31, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Hakim Wright Sr.)
AP Photo/Hakim Wright Sr.

Tipoff for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference playoffs between the Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks has been delayed by 30 minutes. 

Per ESPN's Dave McMenamin, security at State Farm Arena is investigating a suspicious package found outside of the arena. 

The league officially announced the delay on Twitter. 

NBA Communications @NBAPR

The tipoff of the Miami Heat at Atlanta Hawks game, scheduled for tonight at State Farm Arena, is being delayed by 30 minutes.

In a statement from the Hawks (via Sarah K. Spencer of the Atlanta Journal Constitution), the Atlanta Bomb Squad removed the package after the contents were found not to be explosive. 

Sarah K. Spencer @sarah_k_spence

Per the Hawks: "The contents of the package were not found to be explosive, and the package was removed safely by the Atlanta Bomb Squad." <a href="https://t.co/lYppGK5QFl">pic.twitter.com/lYppGK5QFl</a>

The game was originally scheduled to begin at 7:15 p.m. ET. It will now start at 7:45 p.m.. 

Friday marks the first game in the series to be played in Atlanta. The Heat took the first two games at FTX Arena, outscoring the Hawks by an average of 17 points per contest. 

Miami has won eight of its last nine games dating back to the regular season. Head coach Erik Spoelstra's club earned the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference with a 53-29 record.

This marks their first time with the best record in the conference since LeBron James' final season with the Heat in 2013-14 (54-28). 

The Hawks turned things on down the stretch after a slow start this season. They went 15-9 and averaged 118 points in 24 games after the All-Star break. They won seven of their last nine games in the regular season to earn a spot in the play-in tournament. 

Atlanta defeated the Charlotte Hornets and Cleveland Cavaliers in the play-in tournament to clinch the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference. 

Getting back to their home arena could be good news for the Hawks as they try to claw back into the series. They went 27-14 at State Farm Arena and averaged 5.5 more points per game in their arena compared to on the road (116.7 to 111.2)