Miami (7-17) at Atlanta (12-12)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Atlanta, GA
Temp: 84° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EST Wed Dec 19, 2007
  • TV: SUN, FSS
Preview | Box Score | Recap

After eight consecutive losing seasons, the Atlanta Hawks seem to be headed in the right direction of late. Despite winning an NBA title just two seasons ago, the Miami Heat may not be.

Atlanta (12-12) visits the Heat on Wednesday looking to move above .500 for the first time this season.

A victory would also give the Hawks a winning record after 20 or more games for the first time since 1998-99, their last playoff season.

“We’re trying to get to that level where we’re ready to go against any team we face,” forward Al Horford said.

Atlanta comes in having won two straight and five of seven, including a 116-111 victory over Utah on Monday. The Hawks shot 57.6 percent from the field - their second-highest percentage of the season - and went 36-for-50 from the free-throw line.

Joe Johnson led the Hawks with 26 points while Josh Smith added 18 points, 12 rebounds and five blocked shots. Anthony Johnson had season highs of 17 points and 14 assists.

Anthony Johnson played a season-high 45 minutes, as the Hawks were without points guards Acie Law, Speedy Claxton and Tyronn Lue and had only nine players in uniform.

“I know what I’m capable of, given the opportunity,” Johnson said.

This will be the second meeting of the season between Atlanta and Miami (7-17). The Hawks beat the Heat 82-79 on Nov. 21 to snap an 11-game losing streak at Miami, as Dwyane Wade’s potential tying layup was blocked by Josh Smith with 3.9 seconds remaining.

Atlanta has dropped two straight and six of its last seven home games to the Heat.

Miami has won three of its last five, but the Heat are still struggling. They won at Phoenix on Dec. 10, but on Monday barely beat Minnesota, owner of the league’s worst record, 91-87 at home.

The Heat shot a season-low 37.2 percent and weren’t able to sustain an early lead. Miami jumped out to a 20-12 advantage after eight minutes, but went cold after that and trailed by six at the break.

Udonis Haslem hit consecutive jumpers in the fourth quarter and Alonzo Mourning came up with three crucial rebounds and a tip-in during the final minute to complete the Heat’s late rally against the 3-20 Timberwolves.

“It feels good to get a win but I’m not really satisfied with the win,” Haslem said. “We have a lot more work to do. For us to come down the stretch and pull it out in the end is what we need to do and it’s what we haven’t been doing. At the same time, we still aren’t playing capable to how we are able to be playing.”

Dwyane Wade scored 30 points, but was 6-of-22 from the field and missed 10 straight shots. He boosted his point total by going 18-of-20 from the free-throw line.

Wade has missed five of the last seven games against Atlanta because of injuries. He shot 4-of-12 and finished with 14 points against the Hawks in November.

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Wednesday, Dec 19