NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, March 12th
(All times Eastern)
Atlanta Hawks (34-28) at Miami Heat (47-14), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Now it's starting to get out of hand.
Wins have been piling up for the defending champion Miami Heat and they will
shoot for a 19th consecutive win Tuesday versus the Southeast-rival Atlanta
Hawks in the conclusion of a four-game homestand.
It's been a mixed bag as far as final margins go during the streak for the
Heat, who exacted revenge on the Indiana Pacers with Sunday's 105-91 triumph
at AmericanAirlines Arena. Miami had dropped the first two meetings of the
season with the Pacers, who are the last team to defeat the Heat on Feb. 1.
Dwyane Wade continued his streak of 20 or more points with 23, six steals,
three assists and two rebounds. He is averaging 26.6 points per game in his
last nine games. Mario Chalmers scored a game-best 26 points and Chris Bosh
finished with 24. MVP candidate LeBron James didn't have to do much of the
scoring as he delivered 13 points, seven assists and six boards.
"It was a lot of fun, the way we played together," said Chalmers. "We came out
and everybody shared the ball. Everybody did the little things to help us
Miami scored 27 points off 18 Indiana turnovers and used a 27-9 run for a
commanding 22-point advantage.
"It helps out a lot when the scoring is that well balanced," James said. "Our
ball was moving, everyone felt comfortable."
James said the players don't talk about the streak and are just living in the
moment. He added the Heat want to get better and was pleased they were able to
get this latest victory.
The Heat, who are 3-0 on the homestand and unbeaten in 14 straight in South
Beach, shot 55.9 percent from the field and improved to 33-2 when hitting at
least 48 percent of their shots. The East's top seed and Southeast Division
leaders are 29-3 as the host and can match the 2008-09 Boston Celtics' 19-game
run with a victory over Atlanta.
The Los Angeles Lakers also won 19 in a row back in 1999-00.
Miami is 15-2 at home against teams from the East and last suffered defeat as
the host on Jan. 4 versus the Chicago Bulls. Meanwhile, Bosh played in the
700th game of his career Sunday.
After the Heat host the Hawks, they will embark on a five-game road trip
through Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Toronto, Boston and Cleveland.
The Hawks face a daunting task Tuesday in trying to shut down their Southeast
co-tenants. They have lost two straight and five of their last six games,
including Saturday's 93-80 setback to the Brooklyn Nets.
Al Horford had 15 points and 12 rebounds, while Josh Smith finished with 12
points for the Hawks, who put themselves in a hole with just 14 points in the
second quarter (28-14) after a 23-23 score following the first 12 minutes. An
11-1 run to open the game was short lived, too.
"It would have been really easy to go into our locker room after the game and
start ranting and raving about our performance tonight," Hawks coach Larry
Drew said. "Very early in tonight's game I sensed our team was not very
energized. Our success is predicated upon whether or not we come out with
The Hawks committed 17 turnovers, leading to 20 Nets points.
Regardless what Drew said about his team after the last loss, Horford has been
coming to play on a nightly basis. He is averaging 22.9 points and 11.5
rebounds over his last 13 games, and needs just five offensive rebounds for
1,000 in his career. That could come with a struggle Tuesday down low against
Bosh and Udonis Haslem.
Atlanta will try to stop a four-game road slide against the Heat and is 15-17
away from Philips Arena this season. The Hawks are 8-10 on the road against
teams from the Eastern Conference and currently share the sixth spot in the
conference with the Boston Celtics.
After visiting the Heat, Atlanta returns home to face the Lakers and Suns.
The Hawks have lost the first three meetings with Miami this season, six
straight overall and 12 of the last 14 meetings. Atlanta hasn't fared so well
in south Florida, losing 18 of 22 and 27 of the past 32 games there.
03/12 10:40:17 ET