Heat rally past Hawks to win in overtime

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

MIAMI -- The Atlanta Hawks unleashed a barrage of 3-pointers Monday night in an attempt to score their first win against the Miami Heat in over two seasons.
The strategy was unsuccessful.
The Heat, led by forward LeBron James' 38 points, eight rebounds and six assists, rallied to beat the Hawks 121-119 in overtime at AmericanAirlines Arena.
"After going through what we experienced last year in the (NBA) Finals, it's never over," James said. "We just keep fighting until the end and we were able to force overtime."
The victory was the Heat's ninth in a row against the Hawks. Miami (21-6) capped a perfect five-game homestand.
Forward Michael Beasley, who played for the first time since Dec. 5 at Chicago (hamstring), hit two free throws with 9.2 seconds left in overtime to put the Heat in front 120-119. With one foul to give before putting Atlanta in the bonus, the Heat committed a foul with 2.3 seconds left, forcing the Hawks to inbound the ball again.
The Hawks (15-13) got the ball to guard Kyle Korver near the basket, but Korver's shot was short off the side of the rim as Miami forward Chris Andersen and guard Ray Allen challenged the shot.
Andersen collected the rebound with 0.3 seconds left and was fouled. Andersen hit one free throw, sealing the outcome.
"I'm proud of these guys in the locker room," Hawks forward Al Horford said. "We were just one play away from putting them away every time and we just couldn't do it."
Atlanta made 17 of 34 3-pointers in the game -- a season high for a Miami opponent -- and nearly won the game in regulation after Korver hit a trey with 1:33 left, putting the Hawks ahead 107-100. James quickly answered with a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to four. With 23 seconds remaining, James hit another 3-pointer to pull Miami within one.
"The one thing I did like about this game, in the last couple of years with this group typically if we had given up 17 threes in a game, we're not winning that game," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "It would collapse our spirit, our minds, but (now) we were able to stay with it."
After two free throws by guard Lou Williams gave the Hawks a 109-106 edge with 22.3 seconds left, James delivered a thunderous dunk at the other end over forward Paul Millsap to slice the margin to one with 14.4 seconds to go. James argued for a foul but did not get the call.
After the Hawks extended their edge to 111-108 with two more free throws, Allen was fouled while attempting a 3-pointer with 9.2 remaining. Allen hit all three free throws.
"LeBron hit two walk-up threes and (Allen) got fouled on a 3-point shot in the corner," Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said. "That's nine points right there. I haven't seen it (the foul on Allen). They called it and we have to live with it."
Allen, who started for Dwyane Wade (knee), finished with 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Andersen and Beasley also made key contributions down the stretch, and they finished with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Guard Jeff Teague led the Hawks with 26 points and eight rebounds. Millsap added 25 points and 10 rebounds, and center Al Horford contributed 21 points and 11 boards.
Center Chris Bosh took an elbow from Millsap as he drove to the basket with 2:00 left in the fourth. Bosh left the game holding a towel to the right side of his mouth and later received stitches.
NOTES: The Heat gave G Dwyane Wade the night off Monday due to mild knee soreness. It was the seventh game Wade, who is averaging 19.9 points and 4.9 assists in 33.6 minutes per game, has missed this season and second against Atlanta. Wade, who got engaged to actress Gabrielle Union on Saturday, was named the Eastern Conference's Player of the Week Monday after averaging 26.3 points per game on 60 percent shooting during the Heat's three victories last week. ... Hawks G Kyle Korver extended his NBA-record streak of games with at least one 3-pointer made to 97 in the first quarter of Monday's game. ... The Heat open a four-game road trip Christmas Day in Los Angeles against the Lakers. ... The Hawks play the Cavaliers in Cleveland on Thursday.

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