Atlanta Hawks: Heat 101, Hawks 92 (updated)

Vivlamore reporting from Miami.

The Hawks had a chance to overtake the first-place Heat.

They are still looking up at the defending NBA champions. LeBron James was the biggest reason.

James scored a game-high 27 points as the Heat defeated the Hawks 101-92 Monday night at American Airlines Arena. James set a Heat regular-season record with his 24th consecutive 20-point game.

The Heat (14-5) used a 14-2 third-quarter run to break open a close game en route to the victory over the Hawks (12-6) in a battle for the Southeast Division lead. The Heat, winners of both games against the Hawks this season, now hold a 1.5 game lead in the division. The Heat also prevented the Hawks from taking over second place in the Eastern Conference.

“We just didn’t play aggressively in the second half,” guard Jeff Teague said. “We let them dictate how we were going to play, starting with me. We were kind of timid. We really didn’t have any fast-break points. From them playing at home, where they are very explosive, I think we were nervous to play our game.”

The Heat also got 26 points from Dwyane Wade and 14 points from Chris Bosh in a game where they shot 58.2 percent from the field. The Hawks were the only team in the NBA not to allow an opponent to shoot 50 percent from the field in a game this season.

The Hawks had a three-game win streak snapped and lost for only the second time in the past 11 games.

“They were scoring the ball at such will that we couldn’t get those missed shots and get out and run,” center Al Horford said. “When we did get the stops we were slowing it down. Those are things we have to go back and do a better job defensively so we can get more fast-break opportunities.”

Josh Smith led the Hawks with 22 points. Horford added 20 points and 11 rebounds for his sixth consecutive double-double game.

The Hawks only had four fast-break points, six second-chance points and 16 assists. When the Hawks got behind in the fourth quarter they started settling for jump shots, including 28 from behind the 3-point line.

“We are a team right now that I can easily say controls its own destiny,” center Zaza Pachulia said of the Hawks defensive issues. “So, I’m going to blame ourselves. We could have done a better job and we didn’t.”

The Heat took the first real control of the game in third quarter. They went on a 14-2 run, including nine straight points, to take a 10-point advantage. Wade scored eight points during the run.

The Heat led 56-54 at halftime on the strength of a James’ three-point play on their final possession. The Hawks trailed by just two points at intermission despite the Heat shooting a blistering 63.9 percent (23 of 36) from the field. At one point in the second quarter the Heat were shooting 69.2 percent from the field and led by only three points. James had 16 first-half points in building the lead.

The Hawks shot 46.3 percent in the first half (19 of 41). They stayed in the track meet of a game by hitting seven 3-pointers (four by Stevenson, three by Smith), causing five turnovers and holding a 17-16 rebound advantage.

“We made entirely too many mistakes, too many mental mistakes, against a very good basketball team,” coach Larry Drew said. “Against Miami you can’t do that. You have to be efficient with your defense. Offensively we had to execute. We ended up shooting too many 3s. We ended up shooting 28 3s and you better be making them if you are going to take that many.”

Most of the bounces in the first half went the Heats’ way. James got a dunk off a loose-ball scramble in the first quarter. He had a layup in the second on an errant pass that was headed out of bounds before it bounced off an official and right into his awaiting hands.

There were 17 lead changes and eight times tied in the first half.

The Hawks end their three-game road trip, which began with a victory over the Grizzlies, against the Magic on Wednesday.

“We see where we are at,” Horford said. “They are missing some guys (Udonis Haslem) and we are missing Kyle (Korver), a big part of our team. We feel good where we are at right now. We know we have some work ahead of us but we are confident as a team.”

- Chris Vivlamore

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* Korver out vs. Wizards, Grizzlies

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119 comments Add your comment

Slimjr

December 10th, 2012
9:52 pm

Danny you want to be in the ECF in two years? Not with this front line.

Slimjr

December 10th, 2012
9:54 pm

When the guard play is sub-par, its a wrap….

cp

December 10th, 2012
9:54 pm

Nothing from the bench, guards were terrible, Stevenson went cold. That was a tough L. I hope DF is on the phone looking for a possible move to get us a legit sf. Stevenson is a lot better than I thought he would be but he would be better suited coming off the bench and im tired of watching Harris.

Is Wilson Chandler hurt or is he not getting any pt? I think he would be an ideal fit at sf for the Hawks

Najeh Davenpoop

December 10th, 2012
9:56 pm

I have no problem with trading Harris for a “legit SF”. Here are the problems with that, though:

a) Harris was just traded for a SF five months ago. If you want to know how “legit” that SF was, you might want to ask Rod from College Park. That is the market for Harris.

b) If Harris is traded, the Hawks are left with two point guards on the roster, and one of them is Lou who isn’t really a point guard. The Hawks either have to get a PG back in a Harris trade or they have to find a quality PG sitting on his couch right now.

paian

December 10th, 2012
9:56 pm

cp hes hurt and the denver fans are annoyed by him being out of games so much btw

Slimjr

December 10th, 2012
9:58 pm

They had no answer to defend Josh on the block.

If only he had Adrian Dantley post moves..

Dude would have dropped 45

cp

December 10th, 2012
9:59 pm

Good point Najeh.. Oh ok thanks for the info paian. I was wondering what was up with him.

Honesty

December 10th, 2012
10:03 pm

Honestly I think we should start John Jenkins. No not just play him, START him. I mean really what do we have to loose?.

Teague needs to be flanked by two dynamite shooters 1) because he isn’t one 2) More spacing for him to drive the lane.

Teague
Jenkins
Korver
Josh
AL

Najeh Davenpoop

December 10th, 2012
10:03 pm

The Heat are the leading 3 point shooting team in the league, but they are below average at defending the 3. I don’t know if the Hawks would have won if Korver was active, but I’m pretty sure the game would have come down to the wire. He bumps the half court offense up from hit-or-miss to reliable.

Rod from College Park

December 10th, 2012
10:03 pm

“a) Harris was just traded for a SF five months ago. If you want to know how “legit” that SF was, you might want to ask Rod from College Park. That is the market for Harris.”

Great point.

High-sider

December 10th, 2012
10:03 pm

@Honesty

—————————————————————————————-
High-sider
December 10th, 2012
9:45 pm

@Dishonesty…excuse me; I mean Honesty

——————————————————————–
Honesty
December 10th, 2012
8:41 pm

Heat will still finish under 50% shooting for the game.
—————————————————————————-

Are you sure about that?
————————————————————

Did you mean “under [60%]* shooting for the game” because the Heat shot [a blistering] 58.2% from the field tonight? Yeah, right [dripping w/ sarcasm]

FYI, pun was intended on that “blistering” part.

http://www.nba.com/games/20121210/ATLMIA/gameinfo.html?ls=iref:nbahpgt0021200300

Sameba

December 10th, 2012
10:06 pm

Terrible game by the guards… Just unacceptable!

Sameba

December 10th, 2012
10:09 pm

And under those condition, Jenkins should have played. Also, our frontcourt got tired, Ivan should play some minutes definitely…

Najeh Davenpoop

December 10th, 2012
10:12 pm

With James Harden out, Jeremy Lin has 32 points and 5 assists against the Spurs on 9/15 shooting. I guess he’s the kind of player who has to be the focal point of his team. Too bad he’s not good enough to carry a team anywhere being that kind of player.

Slimjr

December 10th, 2012
10:12 pm

Tune up game for Miami.. 5 straight against the Hawks..

Rod from College Park

December 10th, 2012
10:12 pm

“The Heat are the leading 3 point shooting team in the league, but they are below average at defending the 3. I don’t know if the Hawks would have won if Korver was active, but I’m pretty sure the game would have come down to the wire. He bumps the half court offense up from hit-or-miss to reliable.”

The problem with that thinking is that you are only considering the offensive side on the ball. If Korver was out there he has to defend Lebron or Wade, and then either guy attacks him from the start of the game.

Slimjr

December 10th, 2012
10:15 pm

That back [Korver] could be a problem for the rest of the season.. Lets hope for the Hawks sake that will not be so?

Sameba

December 10th, 2012
10:15 pm

Rod from College Park:

KK could not defend any worse than any other guards in today’s game…

Rod from College Park

December 10th, 2012
10:18 pm

I hate to say this, but the Flacons and the Texans look like the same team. Fugazy!!!!

Honesty

December 10th, 2012
10:19 pm

High-sider,

Lol, I tried to speak it into existence haha, a jinx but we fought hard. at least we got them under 60% smh…

Sameba

December 10th, 2012
10:20 pm

Our main problem is weak backcourt, not frontcourt…

Rod from College Park

December 10th, 2012
10:21 pm

“KK could not defend any worse than any other guards in today’s game…”

I disagree. He does not have the lateral quickness of Teague or Harris. Lou does not defend well either.

cp

December 10th, 2012
10:21 pm

Yea Sameba just made the point I was about to make . Korver would have been on Wade and he couldn’t have been any worse defensively than Devin who couldn’t do anything with Wade tonight plus he was terrible on the offensive end. I think Korver would have made those open shots Harris couldn’t knock down. I know Harris had been on the decline the past few years but I didnt think he would be this bad….

Beasley is available but dude is being referred to as toxic. Do you think the Hawks can take a chance on him? He doesn’t play much d but he can score.

Slimjr

December 10th, 2012
10:22 pm

Well so far we know the difference between the Knicks and Hawks based on both of their match ups with the Heat..

The Knicks have superior Guards
The Knicks have superior long distance shooters
The Knicks have a 7′1″ shot blocker/ intimidator

Danny you still have a ton of work to do if your plan is to be an EFC in 2 years? Hmmmm

33-11

15-5 [.750]

cp

December 10th, 2012
10:22 pm

Rod all of that is true as far as lateral quickness but man Devin was getting owned out there by Wade. Dude looked lost defensively the whole night.

Sameba

December 10th, 2012
10:23 pm

But KK has at least size, he rebounds. Harris does not do anything well, Teague is very inconsistent.
Lately saw the game Bucks vs Nets. I was pleased with Jenning’s game. Excellent PG. I would be very glad if Hawks had such a player…

tony

December 10th, 2012
10:27 pm

The hawks are a very good basketball team but I think they need a player like Monta Ellis who has all-around basketball skills. With his jumpshot/layup game, he can come through at key times. I think they should sign him this off season.

Jae Evolution

December 10th, 2012
10:30 pm

Harris is garbage, doesn’t rebound his speed aspect is overrated and his shot is broken. Like cp said Beasley is another option at SF that has emerged, Phoenix is looking to have a ‘fire sale’ and it starts with him. He is a knucklehead but he will rebound, he ‘can’ defend and he can score either off the bench or starting.

Mookie Blaylock

December 10th, 2012
10:30 pm

I’m so tired of these teasing teams in Atlanta and Georgia overall. What’s the point of always being “good” if you fail 99.9% of the time against the elite teams just like bottom of the barrel, lowly teams do?

The Hawks, Falcons and Braves are taken about as serious as the Bobcats, Browns and Royals because just like those latter teams, everyone knows they’re going to get smashed by the elite squads when they play them.

Jae Evolution

December 10th, 2012
10:31 pm

We could also get Telfair as a safety incase Teague or Lou gets hurt as Najeh said.

Rod from College Park

December 10th, 2012
10:33 pm

Falcons get up by 7 or 10 points and get conservative. Patriots go up by 21 and still throwing bombs. Hmm…….

Slimjr

December 10th, 2012
10:35 pm

The Falcons are a tune up for Eli and the G-Men!

Brady would put up 48 or more on the Falcons…

zeyfromtheay

December 10th, 2012
10:35 pm

We need to turn some of our starters into bench players and our bench players into reserves. If Stevenson and Kyle Korver were coming off the bench we’d be DANGEROUS. That’s what Miami has…Shane Battier, Mike Miller, Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis at their disposal. Those are ALL STARTERS! If we can get quality players in this or next years free agency, we can be SPECIAL.

I mean honestly if Kyle Korver was here today, this game may have been ours. And as far as I’m concerned we need to SIGN KENYON MARTIN….because Johan Petro is not even fit to shine Jason Collins shoes. I don’t know how this guy is qualified to be in the NBA.

Josh Smith should stay in Atlanta. We could upgrade and get someone who is good in the post but this is ATLANTA’S OWN Josh Smith and he plays HARD for us. But for real, Josh and Al Horford need to get a little better in the post for us to win.

Jae Evolution

December 10th, 2012
10:36 pm

I can also completely respect the fact of why trade for another average SF when we just got rid of one? The only problem with that is even if we kept Harris until he expires, the market for SF’s in FA is slim to none, and this SF problem won’t go away it will only amplify especially as playoffs draw closer.

Rod from College Park

December 10th, 2012
10:36 pm

I guess if was was a true fan, I supposed to say the Hawks played hard tonight. I’m proud of them. LOL

cp

December 10th, 2012
10:38 pm

Good point Jae.Telfair is a solid backup

Sameba

December 10th, 2012
10:41 pm

In that game Bucks vs Nets Jennings was constantly creating plays for his teammates. Often was attacking the rim and was dropping increadible shots, that i cannot imagine Teague could have done. I consider PG to be the most important position on any team. For the Heat, it is LBJ that often carries those duties himself…

Rod from College Park

December 10th, 2012
10:42 pm

“I can also completely respect the fact of why trade for another average SF when we just got rid of one?”

Marvin was not average, he was terrible. His numbers looked average, but it was because of the other guys on the team. An average guy like Ariza, or Kyle Korver on the hawks team last year or the year before at the 3 might have landed us in the finals.

Big Ray

December 10th, 2012
10:44 pm

Falcons get up by 7 or 10 points and get conservative. Patriots go up by 21 and still throwing bombs. Hmm…….

Answer – that moron Mike Smith.

Slimjr

December 10th, 2012
10:45 pm

Jennings is a scorer at the point guard position. He dropped 50 in a game his rookie season..

Teague is not a scorer per say..

Not fair too compare the two.

Big Ray

December 10th, 2012
10:45 pm

Nice games by Josh and Al. Our guards didn’t come to play. Heat are still better than us. End of story.

As for the Falcons, what ails them is that old-fashioned, resistant to change/progress white-haired troll by the name of Mike Smith.

Najeh Davenpoop

December 10th, 2012
10:46 pm

“The problem with that thinking is that you are only considering the offensive side on the ball. If Korver was out there he has to defend Lebron or Wade, and then either guy attacks him from the start of the game.”

Harris didn’t spend a ton of time guarding LeBron or Wade in this game. They probably would have similarly hidden Korver.

mobilemj

December 10th, 2012
10:46 pm

Everytime we lose people are always commenting about trading Hawks players!! True Fans stick with their team thick and thin!! The Grass is not always greener with these other NBA players!! Go Hawks!! Great Job and Great Effort Tonight and Thanks for Being Ranked in the Top 5 in the Eastern Conference when no one gave us a Chance!!! True Hawks Fans Stand Up!!

Big Ray

December 10th, 2012
10:47 pm

Any other NFL Head Coach would have Julio Jones putting Calvin Johnson’s numbers in the dirt and wouldn’t be using Mike “I live at Magic City” Turner as the damn near every down back.

Sameba

December 10th, 2012
10:48 pm

I do not care… One can name scorer or whatever… But he did distribute perfectly well… Also he played a very solid defence on Williams…

Najeh Davenpoop

December 10th, 2012
10:50 pm

“As for the Falcons, what ails them is that old-fashioned, resistant to change/progress white-haired troll by the name of Mike Smith.”

Haha. When I watch the Falcons, for the most part I see a well coached team that is limited by its personnel. They didn’t play like a well coached team this past Sunday, but it’s not like they are loaded across the board like the 49ers or something.

Slimjr

December 10th, 2012
10:51 pm

The Falcons produced 13 offensive plays in the 1st half against a 3-9 squad!

That my friends is not winning Football..

cp

December 10th, 2012
10:51 pm

Jennings can score but dude is streaky as hell. He shoots a very low percentage from the field too.He isn’t a very good defender either. The one thing he does have that I do like is his confidence. Sometimes it hurts him as much as it helps him but you dont have to worry about him passing up open shots or anything.

@Big Ray and other Falcon Fans. Do you think Blank gets rid of Smith if the Falcons flame out in the playoffs again? I was telling my friend that although I think Smith is a good coach I just dont know if you stick with him if the Falcons dont make any noise this year when it counts..

cp

December 10th, 2012
10:53 pm

Sameba I seriously hope you are not using one game as a reason to bring a player in here. Jennings is a scorer who hasn’t done much in his career but put up numbers on a bad team. That one game is not a great indication of his overall game or career at all

Rod from College Park

December 10th, 2012
10:54 pm

Heard on the radio today that Mr. Ferry is miffed at why Phillips Arena is so empty when this team is winning. If anyone from the Hawks organization is paying attention to the blog please direct Mr. Ferry here. He can learn a lot from some of the main posters. Games like this are why the arena is empty. Real fans are sick of losing big games, and are tired of a bunch of excuses. Against quality opposition more times than not, the Hawks go away from their strengths, stay with the wrong personnel too long, even when other options are available, and generally choke when the game is on the line. If we are going to shoot 800 3’s a game, then the best 3 point shooters should be in the game. If not we need to attack the rim and stop kicking the ball out to Josh Smith and Devin Harris, Teague and Stevenson behind the 3 point line. We can’t beat good teams that way.