In 1994, the Miami HEAT made the NBA Playoffs for the second time in the last three seasons clinching a berth in the Playoffs by defeating the Atlanta Hawks, 94-89, in the final home game of the season.
The HEAT was then defeated by Atlanta by a 3-2 series margin in their opening-round Playoff series. By taking the topranked Atlanta Hawks to the deciding fifth game, Miami became only the fourth eighth seed to take the series to the fifth game since the NBA went to the five-game, first-round series format beginning in the 1983-84 season. Steve Smith led Miami in scoring with 19.2 ppg and Rony Seikaly led the team in rebounding with 9.4 rpg.
FIRST ROUND (ATLANTA-3, MIAMI-2)
Game 1 - Apr. 28 (Miami 93, Atlanta 88): Miami won its first playoff game in franchise history by defeating the Atlanta Hawks, 93-88, in the opening game. Steve Smith led all scorers with 22 points and Glen Rice had a team-high and playoff career-high 10 rebounds. Miami's defense was excellent holding the Hawks to 88 points on 40.5 percent shooting from the field. Atlanta scored just 15 points in the second quarter, and the HEAT held the Hawks without a field goal in the final 7:09 minutes of the game. The win over the Hawks was also Miami's first road win in Atlanta.
Game 2 - Apr. 30 (Atlanta 104, Miami 86): In a game marred by a bench-clearing brawl, Steve Smith's 24 points and nine rebounds were not enough for Miami, as the Atlanta Hawks evened the series at 1-1 with a 104-86 win over the HEAT. The brawl came with 2:34 remaining in the third quarter and led to the ejections of Miami's Grant Long and Keith Askins and Atlanta's Doug Edwards. Long was suspended without pay for one game and fined $10,000, Edwards was suspended without pay for two games and fined $10,000 and Askins was suspended without pay for three games and fined $15,000.
Game 3 - May 3 (Miami 90, Atlanta 86): The HEAT got another playoff career-high in scoring from Steve Smith, as his 25 points led all scorers in Miami's 90-86 win over the Atlanta Hawks. The victory gave the HEAT a 2-1 series lead over the Hawks. Rony Seikaly had 12 points and a career and franchise playoff-high 20 rebounds.
Game 4 - May 5 (Atlanta 103, Miami 89): Atlanta's Mookie Blaylock got back to his All-Star form, leading all scorers with 29 points, as the Hawks tied the series at two games apiece with a 103-89 win over Miami at Miami Arena. Miami was led by Bimbo Coles who had 18 points, seven assists and four rebounds.
Game 5 - May 8 (Atlanta 102, Miami 91): Despite the efforts of Grant Long, the Hawks were able to defeat Miami, 102-91, at Atlanta and won the first-round playoff series with the HEAT by a 3-2 margin. Long had playoff career-highs in points (22), rebounds (10), free throws made (12) and attempted (14) and tied his playoff career-high in field goals attempted (15). The Hawks were led by 24 points and 12 boards from Kevin Willis and 13 points and a playoff career-high 18 assists from Mookie Blaylock.