Heat beat Atlanta 101-92, big night for James
LeBron James fueled the Miami Heat’s 101-92 win over the Atlanta Hawks, with 27-points (most by any player from both sides) Monday night at the American Airlines Arena. With this victory, the Miami Heat (14-5) won in a scramble to the top of the Southeast Division with a 1.5 game lead and topping in both their contests against the Atlanta Hawks (12-6) this season.
The Atlanta Hawks’ three game winning-streak again came to an abrupt end, marking the second-time they’ve lost in the past 11 games. The Miami Heat also crushed the Atlanta Hawks’ hopes of rising to the No.2 seed in Eastern Conference for now.
Guard Dwyane Wade rounded-up as second-top scorer of the night for the Miami Heat with 26 points while forward Chris Bosh contributed 14 points. The Miami Heat duo shot 58.2 percent from the field, soling another Atlanta Hawks’ accomplishment of holding their opponents below 50 percent shooting from the field through each game this season.
The Miami Heat led 56-54 by half-time with a three-pointer from LeBron James on their final possession. Although the Miami Heat offense started off hot with 63.9 percent (23 of 36) from the field, they only led by two point so into intermission. LeBron James added 16 points to build the close first-half lead.
Meanwhile, the Atlanta Hawks shot only 46.3 percent (19 of 41) from the field in the first half, but cut in close to the lead by hitting seven three-pointer, causing five turnovers and meeting Miami Heats’ 16 rebounds with 17.
The Atlanta Hawks failed to take advantage when the game was still within their reach during the 17 lead changes and eight ties in the first half.
The Miami Heat took their first long-lasting control of the game with a 14-2 run in a decisive third-quarter, which included nine back-to-back points building a 10 point lead. Dwyane Wade contributed eight points in the run.
One critical factor that weighed-in the game for Miami Heat was their success at the boards. The Miami Heat out-rebounded the Atlanta Hawks by 19-14 in the third-quarter.
“We have to play with a physicality coming into this building,” said Atlanta Falcons coach Larry Drew. “It’s always a tough place to play, a tough place to win. We have to do not a good job but a great job a great job with our tempo.”
“That is going to be determined with our shot selection. That is going to be how well we take care of the basketball. But more importantly, we have to rebound the ball,” Larry Drew acknowledged the Atlanta Hawks’ lack of rebounds. “We have to come up with all the loose balls tonight.”
However, the Miami Heat seemed to be running the show on the boards in the first half as well. LeBron James stole a rebound for dunk in the first quarter, and turned in an errant pass (heading out of bound) for a lay in the second quarter.
Forward Josh Smith led the Atlanta Hawks with 22 points, while center Al Horford earned his sixth straight double-double game with 20 points and 11 rebounds, marking an end to their three-game road trip.