NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, December 23rd (All times Eastern)
Atlanta Hawks (15-12) at Miami Heat (20-6), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Miami Heat will try and cool off the Atlanta Hawks Monday night when the two Southeast Division rivals jump it up at AmericanAirlines Arena.
The Heat have won four in a row and Atlanta has captured three straight wins. Miami is already 5 1/2 games ahead of the Hawks in the Southeast, but these are two of only three teams in the Eastern Conference with a winning record.
Monday's contest will end a five-game homestand for the Heat, who are 4-0. On Friday, they dusted the Sacramento Kings, 122-103.
The Heat's 122 points scored were a season high. They shot 61.4 percent (51- of-83) from the floor, registered 70 points in the paint -- also a season high -- and netted 32 points on 20 Sacramento turnovers.
"We had to really just get used to the pace of the game and basically kind of slow it down and get what we want," Chris Bosh said.
Bosh had 25 points and eight rebounds and Dwyane Wade netted 20 points to go with five assists and three steals. LeBron James tallied 18 points, eight assists and six boards for Miami, which has won six of its last seven games and became the fifth team to reach 20 wins.
Ray Allen also had 18 points and Mario Chalmers registered 15 points and five assists.
The Heat will begin a four-game western trip, starting with a Christmas evening tilt against the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Hawks were perfect on a three-game homestand, culminating with a 118-85 drubbing over the Utah Jazz on Friday night. They also knocked off the Lakers and Kings during the residency.
Lou Williams poured in 25 points and Al Horford added 23 to lead the Hawks. Williams was 6-for-10 from 3-point range, tying a career high for 3-pointers made in a game.
Paul Millsap chipped in a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds and Jeff Teague finished with nine points and eight assists for the Hawks, winners in four of their last five games.
"I think we played extremely well tonight on both ends. We defended very well and stuck to the game plan very well. We were able to make shots. I just think that it was one of those nights that you have everything clicking on all cylinders," Williams said.
Hawks guard Kyle Korver finished with just six points, but went 2-for-3 from beyond the arc to extend his NBA record for 3-pointers made in consecutive games to 96.
The Hawks offense has been clicking of late. They've topped the 100-point mark in five consecutive games and nine of their last 10.
The Heat beat the Hawks by 16 in South Beach on Nov. 19 to run their winning streak to eight over Atlanta.
12/23 10:19:58 ET