Heat 111, Hawks 92

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MIAMI (AP)—Once Dwyane Wade got angry, there was no containing him and the Miami Heat.

Wade scored 25 points and channeled some frustration into a key third-quarter run that allowed Eastern Conference-leading Miami to pull away and defeat the Atlanta Hawks 111-92 on Wednesday night.

Shaquille O’Neal added 25 points and 12 rebounds for the Heat (29-11). Eddie Jones added 16 for Miami, which played its first home game in two weeks.

After getting knocked to the court and not drawing a foul call, Wade scored seven points in a five-minute span to spark a 23-7 Miami run that turned a three-point game into a rout. Al Harrington’s driving layup with 5:38 left in the third quarter drew Atlanta to 66-63, but a smarting Wade soon took over.

“There was one play where I felt I got pushed and they didn’t call it,” said Wade, who missed Miami’s previous two games with a back spasms, sore ribs and a migraine. “It was a play that turned my second half around and made me focus more.”

Following Harrington’s score, Wade drove at Hawks rookie Josh Smith for a layup, took a long outlet pass from O’Neal after Smith’s next miss and drove by him for a dunk, then added a three-point play later in the period to give Miami what was then its biggest lead at 80-68—and some long-awaited breathing room.

“He has fire, he has heart, he’s a great competitor,” O’Neal said of Wade. “This team is looking pretty good.”

Antoine Walker had his ninth straight double-double—18 points and a game-high 16 rebounds—for Atlanta, which dropped its seventh straight road game and lost for the 14th time in 17 games overall. Jason Collier added 17 points for the Hawks.

“We let Dwyane Wade take control of the game,” Walker said. “We did a good job on him at the start, but in the third quarter he got it going … and made things happen.”

Miami, the NBA’s best shooting team, connected on 51.9 percent of its field-goal attempts. O’Neal made 11 of 20 shots and scored 25 or more points for the eighth straight game, extending his team record. Over that stretch, O’Neal is averaging 29.8 points and 12.3 rebounds.

“More than anything, it was our defense,” said Hawks coach Mike Woodson. “They were able to penetrate the ball wherever they wanted to go and we were struggling to score.”

O’Neal had 19 of his points in the first half, helping Miami take a 54-49 lead at intermission—marking just the 16th time in 40 games that the Heat led entering the third quarter.

Atlanta stayed close behind some solid shooting—47.4 percent in the first half—and strong bench play, with the Hawks’ reserves outscoring Miami’s 20-11 in the opening two quarters.

After halftime, the story changed decidedly in Miami’s favor. Led by Keyon Dooling, who had 10 of his 12 points in the second half, the Heat bench outscored Atlanta’s 22-4 after halftime, and the Hawks managed to make only 39.1 percent of their shots in the final two quarters.

“We had the best bench production we have had in a long, long time,” Heat coach Stan Van Gundy said.

Harrington and Smith each had 13 for Atlanta, with Predrag Drobnjak scoring 11.


O’Neal now has 9,019 career field goals, and moved past Jerry West into 14th on the NBA’s all-time list. West had 9,016; next on the list is Moses Malone (9,435). … Atlanta fell to 0-3 against the Heat this season. … Eddie Jones’ 3-pointer midway through the second quarter was the 1,227th of his career, moving him past Hersey Hawkins and into 14th place on the all-time list. Dell Curry (1,245) is 13th. … Before the game, Atlanta activated G Tony Delk and placed G Royal Ivey (right knee tendinitis) on the injured list. Delk wore a brace on his sprained left hand and finished with three points in eight minutes. … Miami is 9-0 in divisional games, 21-2 against Eastern Conference teams, 22-2 when scoring 100 and 7-0 on Wednesdays.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
A. Walker A. Walker
6-17,  18 Pts
16 Rebs, 5 Assists
S. O'Neal S. O'Neal
11-20,  25 Pts
12 Rebs, 2 Assists

Team Stat Leaders