Heat close trip against Hawks
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Miami Heat have won two in a row and will end a six- game road trip Monday evening when they visit Southwest rivals, the Atlanta Hawks.
The long odyssey ends in Atlanta for the two-time defending champs and a win on Monday will even their record on the sojourn. Miami lost the first three to New York, Brooklyn and Washington, but rebounded with victories over Philadelphia and Charlotte.
On Saturday, without Dwyane Wade or Chris Andersen, LeBron James scored a game-high 34 points to go with eight rebounds and six assists to lead the Heat to a 104-96 overtime win over the Bobcats.
Chris Bosh scored 25 points and Ray Allen added 12 points and nine rebounds for the Heat.
The Heat trailed by seven at the half, but fought back. The final quarter was a defensive battle which saw the Heat win 15-14. In overtime, Miami basically ran away with it.
"I like the grit that we showed in the second half," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Our guys were not happy at halftime and wanted to take a lot more pride in our defense (in the second half)."
The Heat get no rest from their six-game road swing. They are back on the court at home Tuesday night to open a four-game homestand with the Boston Celtics.
The Hawks, who are second to the Heat in Southwest Division, but trail by 8 1/2 games, haven't played since Thursday's tilt in jolly old England.
Atlanta got buried by the Brooklyn Nets, 127-110, on Thursday.
Mike Scott and Shelvin Mack each had 17 points for the Hawks, who have lost two in a row. Jeff Teague and Paul Millsap donated 16 and 13 points, respectively.
"Their size and their length was a problem in a lot of different ways, and rebounding was just one of them," Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said.
On Dec. 23, the Hawks fell to the Heat by two in Miami in a game they frankly should've won.
"We know we can beat them," said Millsap. "That's the first thing coming into the game, you've got to know you can beat a team like that. Hopefully, we go out there and execute."
Millsap may know the Hawks can beat them, but history writes a different tale.
The Heat have won nine straight and 11 of their last 12 against the Hawks. Miami also has a seven-game winning streak in Atlanta.
01/20 10:19:09 ET