Kevin C. Cox
The Hawks took a lead late in the fourth, but were unable to finish off the defending champs who followed Chris Bosh's 24 points, and LeBron James' near triple double (21/11/9) to a tight victory.
The Hawks dropped a tough game to the Miami Heat 95-89. The Heat were missing superstar guard Dwyane Wade, but were still able to follow the lead of Chris Bosh and LeBron James to the victory. The Hawks, for the fourth time in as many games, fought back from a fourth quarter deficit to take the lead, but were unable to capitalize on opportunities down the stretch. The game was a back-and-forth affair with neither team able to grab a big edge at any stretch (14 lead changes and 16 times tied). The game was tied after the first quarter (25-25) and the Hawks took 46-42 lead at the half. Miami made a run in the third behind Mario Chalmers and Rashard Lewis who each had seven points in the quarter.
The Heat took their biggest lead (9) five minutes into the fourth quarter, but the Hawks responded with a 14-3 run to take an 87-85 lead with 3:26 to play. The Hawks failed to convert on a number of late looks, including a crushing fast break miss by Korver that ended in an odd turnover where he got "contacted" (Larry Drew's word) and fell out of bounds, and wasn't given either a timeout or a foul. Chris Bosh hit two free throws to tie the game (he went 10/10 from the line on the night) and then hit a jumper to give the Heat the lead. Jeff Teague converted a pair of free throws to tie the game once again at 89, but a Ray Allen jump shot, a pair of missed free throws by Smith, and a LeBron step-back (and shove) jumper sealed the Heat victory.
Chris Bosh was the player of the game for the Heat, scoring 24 points along with five boards. LeBron had a near triple-double with 21 points, 11 boards, and nine assists, and Ray Allen added 17 points (and kept the Heat in the game in the second quarter). Jeff Teague played a great game with 20 points and 11 dimes, while Anthony Morrow was phenomenal off the bench scoring 17. Josh Smith struggled going 6-of-19 from the field, 1-of-5 from the free throw line, and had just 13 points and eight rebounds. Smoove wasn't the only one who struggled (Lou Williams 0/6 for 2 points, DeShawn Stevenson 1/7 for 3 points), but his mistakes were the most glaring, especially his misses from the free throw line.