Miami Heat Visit Atlanta Hawks: Game 28 Preview

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 05: Chris Bosh #1 and Udonis Haslem #40 of the Miami Heat defend against Josh Smith #5 of the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on January 5, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The big three and the Miami Heat visit Josh Smith and the Atlanta Hawks today at 7:00 ET.

The Miami Heat visit the Atlanta Hawks at the Phillips Center in Atlanta. This is the third of four contests to be played between the division rivals this season, and the second of two in Atlanta. Miami is playing in the third game of a six game road trip. They lost their first game, 102-89 to the Orlando Magic on Wednesday before beating the Washington Wizards 106-89 on Friday. They go on to face the Milwaukee Bucks and the Indiana Pacers before finishing up against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Atlanta is coming off a 109-107 overtime road victory over the Orlando Magic. After today's matchup, they will hit the road for a five game roadtrip, visiting the Los Angeles Lakers, the Phoenix Suns, the Portland Trail Blazers and the Chicago Bulls before finishing up against the New York Knicks on February 22nd. Atlanta has a 9-4 home record, while the Heat carry in an 8-5 road record.

It took three extra frames on January 5th, but the James/Wade-less Miami Heat dispatched the Hawks, 116-109 in Atlanta. Chris Bosh led the Heat with 33 points and 14 rebounds. Mario Chalmers pitched in 29 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, Udonis Haslem scored 14 with 11 rebounds, and Terrell Harris grabbed 14 boards in Miami's victory. Joe Johnson led six Hawks in double figures with 20. Josh Smith had 17 points and 13 rebounds. After the game, Erik Spoelstra spoke to the media, according to NHL.COM,

I just told the guys that when you put on the Miami Heat uniform, we think that it represents a lot of things, and one of those -- near the top -- is toughness and character. That game, and the way it went down at the end, was an exercise in absolute endurance and toughness, mental and physical toughness. It was a gutty team win with a capital t, a capital e, a capital a, and a capital m. This game was not defined at all by the box score or the numbers, or any of the tangible things. It was defined by all the intangible, "X factor," areas. It looked like a heavyweight fight at the end.

Jan 5, 2012 Miami Heat Vs Atlanta Hawks Highlights Game Recap - NBA CIRCLE (via NBACIRCLE)

Miami is coming off a 106-89 road win over the Washington Wizards. Dwyane Wade led the Heat with 26 points and five assists. Chris Bosh scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, and LeBron James tossed in 18 points with nine assists while Udonis Haslem grabbed a dozen boards. Javale McGee paced the Wizards with 24 points and 13 rebounds. John Wall scored 15 points and dished out 10 assists, and Trevor Booker scored 13 with 15 boards. Later, Wade talked about the show he and James put on near the end of the first half, according to NBA.COM,

"It was very fun. That's why we play this game. He makes me look good, so I think that's what the fans came to see. They love to see their favorite players do amazing things."

Miami Heat Vs Washington Wizards 2-10-12 Highlights HD (via MsGeneration88)

The Hawks won a 109-107 overtime decision against the Magic in Orlando on Friday night. Josh Smith led the Hawks with 23 points, 19 rebounds and five assists. Dwight Howard had 18 points and 18 rebounds in the loss. After the game, Smith had a few words about the Hawks success away from Atlanta, according to NBA.COM,

"We're a veteran ball club and we're figuring out ways to win on the road. I think we like the feeling of every man against us when we come out to play."

Atlanta Hawks Vs Orlando Magic 2-10-12 Highlights HD (via MsGeneration88)

Standings:

Miami Heat: 20-7, first in the Southeast Division, second in the Eastern Conference, third in the NBA. on pace for a 49-17 record. Last five games: W-W-W-L-W

Atlanta Hawks: 18-9, second in the Southeast Division, fourth in the Eastern Conference, seventh in the NBA, on pace for a 44-22 record. Last five games: L-L-L-W-W

Season Series: 1-1

All-Time Series: Miami, 49-40

Gametime: 7:00 ET

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