The Union Recorder

Local Sports

December 11, 2012

With big night from James, Heat top Hawks, 101-92

MIAMI — LeBron James leaped as high as he can soar. Dwyane Wade shot better than he ever has before.

And when the Miami Heat stars are on their games like that ... "We probably won't lose," James said.

Such was the case Monday night. James scored 27 points, Wade had 26 and the Heat pulled away in the second half to beat the Atlanta Hawks 101-92, improving to 10-1 at home this season.

James (10 for 16) and Wade (11 for 13, the best single-game shooting percentage of his career) made 21 of 29 shots for Miami, which shot 58 percent as a team. Chris Bosh had 14 points and 10 rebounds and Norris Cole made all four of his shots to score 10 for the Heat, who handed the Hawks just their second loss in 11 games.

"Just trying to be as efficient as I can," Wade said. "Shooting 13 shots, it's nothing I'm used to. Some nights you go for 11-for-13. Some nights you go 3 for 13. But you just try to continue to be aggressive and continue taking shots."

Josh Smith scored 22 points and Al Horford finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds for Atlanta, which briefly held the lead midway through the third quarter before the Heat got rolling and moved 1½ games ahead of the Hawks in the Southeast Division.

Atlanta has dropped both games against Miami this season and is 1-7 against the Heat since March 2011.

"We gave LeBron and D-Wade some opportunities to be able to get some layups early on and whenever you play against a team like that or whenever you give a great player opportunities to get layups first, the rim gets that much bigger," Smith said. "And they started hitting all kinds of shots."

A big third-quarter run put the Heat in control, and one of James' best dunks this season helped seal it in the fourth. Cole took a pass from Ray Allen, dribbled once and nonchalantly flipped the ball toward the rim.

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