The Miami Heat will be visiting the Atlanta Hawks tonight at 7:30 in Phillips Arena. It's the first of four meetings this season between the Southeast Division frontrunners, and one of two they will play in Atlanta. The Heat are coming off a three game home winning streak. They started with a 119-116 squeaker over the Denver Nuggets and a 124-99 blowout win at home over the Phoenix Suns before mauling the Brooklyn Nets 103-73 on Wednesday night. The Heat will continue their six game roadtrip afterward with stops in Memphis, Houston, Los Angeles (Clippers), Denver and Phoenix. The Hawks are coming off an 89-86 home victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night. Atlanta will embark on a four city road trip afterward, visiting Los Angeles (Clippers), Portland, Golden State, and Sacramento.
The two teams last met on March 7th as the 23-15 Hawks dropped a three point game to the 29-9 Heat at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami. Partial recap courtesy of NBA.COM:
Guard Dwyane Wade hit two free throws and had a key assist in the final 15 seconds to help the Miami Heat defeat the Atlanta Hawks 89-86 Wednesday at AmericanAirlines Arena.
Wade hit forward Udonis Haslem for an alley-oop that put the Heat ahead 87-84 with 12 seconds remaining. After the Hawks scored on the next possession, Wade made two free throws with 2.7 seconds left.
The Hawks had a chance to tie, but guard Jannero Pargo missed a 3-pointer from the top of the key as time expired. Heat forward LeBron James led the way with a game-high 31 points while Wade finished with 18 points, nine rebounds and six assists.
The Heat trailed by 10 with four minutes left in the third quarter before mounting a second-half comeback. They led most of the fourth quarter before the Hawks went on a 9-0 run to take an 80-77 lead, but the Heat scored the next four points to grab the lead for good.
Forward Josh Smith led the Hawks with 23 points and six rebounds.
Nba Miami Heat vs Atlanta Hawks highlights 3-7-12.wmv (via NBAGameChannel)
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra focused on the negative afterward:
"That was ugly for awhile. We certainly weren't in a great flow offensively. We missed a lot of open shots, missed some good opportunities and got stagnant a little bit. We were able to push through, grind out the game and make some finishing plays on both ends going down the stretch."
The Miami Heat defeated the Brooklyn Nets 103-73 Wednesday at AmericanAirlines Arena.
Guard Dwyane Wade led all scorers with 22 points for the Heat, who shot 52 percent from the field. Forward LeBron James finished with 20 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists while swingman Rashard Lewis added 13 points off the bench.
After the defense was questioned through four games, the Heat turned in their best performance of the season. They held the Nets to 37 percent shooting, including 3-for-21 from 3-point range.
Miami shook off a slow start before taking control in the third quarter. The Heat got a little help from the 3-pointer, hitting 10-for-24 from the arc.
The Nets were led by Deron Williams' 14 points and three assists.
NBA Brooklyn Nets Vs Miami Heat Game Recap 11/07/2012 (via NBAHiighlights)
The Hawks dropped the Indiana Pacers by three points on Wednesday night. NBA.COM's partial recap:
Atlanta's starting backcourt triggered a furious rally Wednesday when Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver paced a late 18-0 run to push the Hawks to an 89-86 win over the Pacers.
Al Horford scored 16 points, Teague 15, Korver 13, and Josh Smith added 11 as the Hawks (2-1) beat the Pacers (2-3) for the 10th straight time in Philips Arena.
When George Hill's layup gave the Pacers an 83-69 lead with 6:34 left in the game, it looked like Indiana would finally win in Atlanta. The Pacers had an 18-0 run of their own in the third quarter during which they turned a 51-50 halftime deficit into a 77-65 lead.
Instead, the Pacers went scoreless for the next 6:13. Teague's 3-pointer with 1:04 left -- his first in three tries on the night and the season -- gave Atlanta an 85-83 lead. Moments after Indiana's Roy Hibbert lost the ball out of bounds, Teague added a runner.
NBA CIRCLE - Indiana Pacers Vs Atlanta Hawks Highlights 7 November 2012 www.nbacircle.com (via NEWNBACIRCLE)
Pacers center Roy Hibbert took the blame for the loss, and spoke about the Hawks after the game:
"On the last few possessions they had, we needed to make a stop and instead they got dunks and easy shots ... and Korver got hot ... I have to catch that ball. I've been having some problems with that lately, so I put that totally on me."
The Heat is 51-40 all-time against the Hawks. To drop to .500 all-time in the series, Miami would have to lose every matchup between the two through their third meeting of the 2014-15 season.
Game Time: 7:30 PM ET
Current Odds: Miami by -5 1/2
Season Series: 0-0
Miami Heat: 4-1, first in the Southeast Division, tied for first in the Eastern Conference, tied for first in the NBA. Last five: W-L-W-W-W. Current odds of making the postseason: 82.0%
Atlanta Hawks: 2-1, second in the Southeast Division, tied for fourth in the Eastern Conference, tied for ninth in the NBA. Current odds of making the postseason: 63.8%
PG - Mario Chalmers
SG - Dwyane Wade
SF - Shane Battier
PF - LeBron James
CF - Chris Bosh
PG - Jeff Teague
SG - Devin Harris
SF - Kyle Korver
PF - Josh Smith
C - Al Horford
If Joel Anthony plays, he will tie Brian Grant in 12th on the all-time list with 312 games played.
Udonis Haslem will become the second Miami player in history (both this week) to reach the 600 game mark.
With two minutes on the floor, Mario Chalmers will pass Keith Askins into 14th all time with 7,984 minutes played.
LeBron James will pass Rasual Butler and Bimbo Coles into 19th all-time with four three pointers, for 158 total.
Two free throws will move Chris Bosh past Willie Burton into 13th all-time with 637.
Chris Bosh has 1,129 rebounds, and James has 1,131. Both could pass Dan Majerle into 14th all-time tonight. Majerle has 1,137.
Udonis Haslem has to collect 36 more rebounds to become the Heat's all-time leader, passing Alonzo Mourning with 4,808.
LeBron James, 22.4
Dwyane Wade, 20.4
Chris Bosh, 19.4
LeBron James, 9.8
Chris Bosh, 7.2
Udonis Haslem, 3.8
Mario Chalmers, 6.6
LeBron James, 5.6
Dwyane Wade, 4.6
Mario Chalmers, 2.0
Dwyane Wade, 1.4
Chris Bosh, 1.0
Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade 1.4
LeBron James, 1.0