Heat 125, Hawks 92

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MIAMI (AP)—Atlanta Hawks coach Terry Stotts couldn’t have asked for more from his eight players.

Eddie Jones scored 24 points and Dwyane Wade added 22, and the Miami Heat built their biggest first-half lead in team history en route to a 125-92 victory over the undermanned Atlanta Hawks.

The Hawks played without newcomers Bob Sura and Zeljko Rebraca, who were acquired Thursday in a three-team trade with Boston and Detroit. Both players spent the game in the Atlanta locker room, even though Rasheed Wallace, who was involved in the same trade, played for the Pistons on Friday night.

“I was told before the game that our guys couldn’t play,” Stotts said. “I don’t know, I don’t know … I was just trying to manage the game.”

The Hawks dressed nine players, then lost swingman Wesley Person after one quarter with a sprained right knee.

Sura and Rebraca joined the Hawks on Friday but were not expected to play, pending Chucky Atkins’ physical with Boston. Chris Mills, also acquired by Atlanta in the deal, is on the injured list.

After Atlanta learned Wallace, who went from Atlanta to Detroit in the deal, played for the Pistons against Minnesota, Sura and Rebraca were told to get into uniform and prepare to play.

But after a Hawks official was told by a league representative none of the players involved in the trade should play, Atlanta decided to keep the newcomers sidelined.

Wallace was not allowed to play after the first half by the NBA because the certification completing the trade did not go through before tipoff, according to league spokesman Tim Frank.

“It’s a matter that will have to be reviewed by the league,” Frank said.

Jones had 20 points as Miami built a 73-42 halftime cushion. The Heat went ahead by as many as 33 points late in the second quarter, and then by 42 early in the fourth.

“I felt bad for Terry—there aren’t too many times you’re going to be that undermanned,” Heat coach Stan Van Gundy said. “We have had some tough times, but it can’t get much worse than it did for Terry tonight.”

Brian Grant scored 17 points and Lamar Odom had 10 points and nine rebounds for the Heat, who won their third consecutive game—all by double-digits. Miami’s 125 points were a season-high.

“We’ve been on the other end of it,” said Grant, one of six Heat players who scored in double figures. “It’s nice to go out there and see everything you put up go in.

“The whole team was having fun and the crowd was having fun.”

The Hawks were not.

“When you’re down 30, short-handed and you feel a lot of things are going against you, it is sometimes hard to compete,” Stotts said. “I was happy with the way they competed.”

Chris Crawford scored 21 points, Jason Terry 18 and Stephen Jackson 17 for the Hawks.

Jones hit three 3-pointers and scored 17 points to help the Heat build a 36-20 lead after one quarter. Jones sank his first five shots.

“Shots were going in and we weren’t really thinking about them,” said Jones, who was 9-of-37 in the previous three games.

“They shot the ball well—10-of-11 for 3s in the first half,” Jason Terry said. “Even if you’re trading two for three, at that point, you’re going tohave a sizable deficit.”

Notes

Former NFL star Dan Marino, who recently resigned his short-lived management post with the Miami Dolphins, was cheered when introduced during the second quarter. … Miami’s Malik Allen left the game with back spasms after scoring two points in 10 first-half minutes. … The Heat return home Saturday night, when they play host to Denver. … Atlanta’s newcomers had been expected to join the Hawks on Saturday and play Sunday at Houston. Sura was listed on the Hawks roster with No. 3 and Rebraca No. 12. … The Heat fell two points shy of the team record for first-half points. They scored 75 against the Los Angeles Clippers on Nov. 19, 1997. … Miami’s Rafer Alston extended hisconsecutive-game streak with at least one 3-pointer to 22 games.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 Atlanta
S. Jackson S. Jackson
6-13,  17 Pts
5 Rebs, 3 Assists
 Miami
L. Odom L. Odom
3-6,  10 Pts
9 Rebs, 6 Assists

Team Stat Leaders

Points
Rebounds
Assists