The Atlanta Hawks hosted the Dwyane Wade-less Miami Heat Monday night for round three of their four game season series.
The Heat had won the previous two, including an overtime thriller in Miami last December. The Hawks lead most of that game, but squandered away the win in the end. Atlanta avenged themselves by beating the Heat 121-114 Monday night.
Atlanta held a consistent 4-7 point lead throughout most of the 2nd half, but a Heat run midway through the 4th saw the Heat take a 5 point lead. Lebron James hit two threes to give the Heat the lead with six and a half to play, and Bosh added a layup that later went under review. The layup was taken away for a shot clock violation and the Hawks took advantage.
Atlanta responded with a run of their own and Kyle Korver sealed the deal with a dagger three with 56 seconds remaining. Miami had no choice but to play the foul game, but to no avail.
Paul Millsap led the Hawks with 26 points while Lebron added 30 for the Heat. Pero Antic dropped a career high 17.
Atlanta showed much improvement in their frontcourt. Millsap, Antic, and Mike Scott combined for 55 points while shooting 59% from the field while the Heat’s big men only shot 40%. All game long, the Hawks took advantage of an undersized Heat frontcourt that started Shane Battier at power forward.
Jeff Teague had a night to forget, going 1-7 with only 2 points. He did however finish with 6 assists in only 19 minutes. Shelvin Mack logged more minutes off the bench to replace Teague’s inefficiency. In 27 minutes, Mack recorded 7 assists and 13 points on five of ten shooting.
Lou Williams showed flashes of his old self as he was more aggressive. His aggressiveness earned him 3 separate trips to the free throw line where he was 6-6. He finished with 12 points in only 20 minutes off the bench.
DeMarre Carroll was the biggest surprise from the game. Normally known for his defense, Carroll proved to be a valuable weapon in spreading the floor on offense. He went 3-5 from downtown and totaled 19 points.
Kyle Korver continued his consecutive game with a made three streak as it increases to 109 games. He went 3-9 from beyond the arc.
James Nunnally, who is on a 10 day contract, did not see any playing time tonight. This was the last game in which he would be under contract and it is unclear if the Hawks would offer the former D-League star a second contract.
Next up for the Hawks is the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night. The Magic beat the Hawks in their last meeting on Dec 29. They followed up the win with an abysmal 10-game losing streak before beating the Boston Celtics Sunday.