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James nearly gets triple-double in Heat win

The SportsXchange

ATLANTA - LeBron James and Josh Smith banged knees in the first half, causing James to come up limping. But that did not prevent James from nearly recording a triple-double and hitting a big shot.

James collected 21 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, and he made the shot that counted most, a 20-foot jumper with 13 seconds left, to lead the Miami Heat to a 95-89 win over the Atlanta Hawks at Phillips Arena on Friday night.

"I had a pretty good look." James said of his shot, which gave the Heat a four-point lead. "It's just about repetition. It's things that you practice every day."

The Heat were without Dwyane Wade, who was back at the team hotel with a cold.

But they still had a big three: Chris Bosh had 24 points and Ray Allen came off the bench for 17, including two insurance free throws with six seconds left.

Smith was having a tough night even before he and James smacked into one another, scoring only 13 points on a 6-of-19 shooting night. He had eight rebounds, but missed two free throws that would have tied the game at 91-91 with 1:05 left in the game.

"This game is about making plays down the stretch. And we didn't come up with enough plays down the stretch," Hawks coach Larry Drew said.

Jeff Teague had 20 points to go with 11 assists, and he got the Hawks close with consecutive three-pointers at the four-minute mark. Anthony Morrow had 17 points off the bench.

"We had an opportunity to close it out," Atlanta's Al Horford said. "We had some plays that we could have made that weren't made. But we have to learn from this."

After the third quarter ended with the Heat up 72-71, they went on a 10-2 run to open the largest lead by either team at 82-73.

Mike Miller, who started in place of Wade, had five first-half rebounds but only one assist and zero points. He finished with four points, six rebounds and two assists.

The Hawks, who went with their smaller, quicker lineup to start the game, got a boost from Morrow, who scored 12 points off the bench in the first half.

Notes: Notes: Wade stayed back at the team hotel with a cold. "That's all it is," Heat coach Eric Spoelstra said, "a cold." Spoelstra decided he liked having Allen come off the bench, so Miller started in place of Wade. . . . The game against the Hawks is the first game of a six-game road for the Heat. . . . Drew briefly considered altering his starting lineup with Wade out but stuck with the lineup he'd announced at shootaround. . . . Drew declined to comment on the Lakers firing coach Mike Brown, but Spoelstra said, "When you see one of your coaching peers, part of your fraternity, not getting an opportunity, it's tough. We know what this business is like. At the same time, really, we just want an opportunity when you're coaching -- a full season, health, et cetera -- all those factors to be right. Mike is an excellent coach. He's proven it; he's got a track record. That's a shame that it came down to that." . . . The Hawks wore their red uniforms and special stars-and-stripes socks and headbands in honor of Veterans Day.
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