The Union Recorder

Local Sports

December 11, 2012

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

(Continued)

MIAMI —

James finished each of the first two quarters with a flurry, first going 1-on-4 for a driving layup to give Miami a 28-26 lead, then blowing past Horford for a layup-and-foul and putting the Heat up two with 14.6 seconds left in the half.

The Hawks were helped mightily by a friend of Heat opponents of late, the 3-pointer. Atlanta made seven from beyond the arc in the half, and through three quarters, Smith was 4 for 4 — already matching his career-best single-game total from long range.

But in the third, Miami began to flex its muscles.

Jeff Teague made a 3-pointer midway through the third to give Atlanta a 65-63 lead, but after that, Miami took off running.

"We made just entirely too many mistakes," Hawks coach Larry Drew said. "Too many mental mistakes against a very good a basketball team. Against Miami you can't do that."

A 17-4 run was the difference maker, turning a two-point deficit into an 11-point lead with 1:24 remaining in the third. Wade got it started with a jumper, and he wound up with eight during the burst, including a layup off a perfect pass by James from the right side of the lane. Shane Battier made two 3-pointers in the run, including the shot that ended it, and Miami's margin was suddenly 80-69.

NOTES: Celebrities were everywhere, with Jay-Z (a close friend of James, who gave his pal a long look after the alley-oop slam on the Cole pass) and Beyonce near the Hawks' bench, Floyd Mayweather Jr. across from the Miami bench and Lil Wayne watching from his now-usual baseline seat, headphones on virtually all night. ... The Heat were without Udonis Haslem (flu), and the Hawks played without Kyle Korver (back spasms). ... Smith entered the night 8 for 21 from 3-point range. ... The Heat caught a break late in the second quarter, when a pass from James was headed out of bounds before it caromed off the leg of referee Karl Lane. Mario Chalmers wound up setting James up for a layup and a 50-49 Miami lead.

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