Heat rally to down Hawks
Miami, FL (Sports Network) – Derek Anderson scored 12 of his 14 points in the
fourth quarter during his Miami debut to help a short-handed Heat team come
back from a 17-point deficit and defeat Atlanta, 95-93, at AmericanAirlines
Shaquille O’Neal added 21 points and eight rebounds before fouling out for
Miami, which extended their season-long winning streak to eight games. Udonis
Haslem chipped in with 15 points while Jason Williams had 14 points and
Antoine Walker netted 13 in the win.
Joe Johnson had a game-high 28 points for the Hawks, who lost for the 10th
consecutive time against Miami. Josh Smith added 21 points and eight boards
while Al Harrington had 14 in the loss.
Miami toiled without the services of superstar guard Dwyane Wade who sat out
the contest with a sprained right wrist.
The Heat really missed the reigning NBA player of the month on the offensive
end and struggled to generate scoring opportunities without Wade’s ability to
break down a defense.
Atlanta raced out a 27-15 advantage after the first 12 minutes and continued
to play frontrunner until intermission. The Hawks took a 48-33 edge into
Miami’s woes continued into the second half and the Heat trailed by as many as
17 points before closing the gap to 11, 73-62, as the third quarter ended.
The Hawks continued to keep Miami at arm’s length in the fourth quarter. After
Johnson buried a pair from the charity stripe with 7:46 on the clock, Atlanta
had a 12-point cushion, 83-71.
But the Heat staged a furious comeback and scored 13 of the game’s next 16
points. Anderson capped the flurry with the triple that brought the Heat
within two, 86-84, with 4:26 remaining.
Atlanta finally responded a minute later when Smith connected on just his
third trey of the year to make it 89-84.
The three managed to slow down Miami momentarily, but Haslem answered
with five straight points for the Heat to deadlock things at 89 with 2:15
After the two teams traded a pair of free throws, Harrington got deep on the
blocks for the Hawks. His layup spun out but the forward was fouled and made
two from the line to give Atlanta a precarious two-point cushion, 93-91, with
48.2 ticks left.
Fifteen seconds later, the Heat flattened the offense for Anderson, who tied
the game at 93 with a beautiful turnaround jumper.
After Salim Stoudamire missed a wide-open jumper the Heat had an opportunity
to win. Haslem badly missed a jumper but Anderson found himself in the right
place at the right time to grab the offense rebound and find Alonzo Mourning
underneath for an uncontested dunk.
The slam put Miami on top 95-93 with 1.8 seconds left.
Stoudamire’s desperation jumper came up empty at the buzzer as Miami held on.
Atlanta has lost eight straight and 17 of its last 18 at Miami…The Heat are
an impressive 22-6 as the host this season and have won eight in a row at
home…The Hawks are 7-22 on the road this season.