Atlanta Hawks top Miami Heat 114-103


During his pre-game press conference, Mike Budenholzer preached ball movement and his team listened, as the Atlanta Hawks defeated the Miami Heat, 114-103, to win their 4th straight conteset.

The Hawks came out firing on all cylinders and opened up a 35-23 lead by the end of the first quarter. Led by Thabo Sefolosha’s 8 points, the Hawks shot 62% and only turned the ball over 3 times in the first quarter. The second quarter was a different story for the Hawks as the ball movement stopped and the defensive rotations slowed. With a 1:34 left in the half, the lead had been cut to 4, and it appeared that the Heat had figured things out. Not so fast, the Hawks owned the last 90 seconds as they closed out the half on a 10-4 run and made the lead 10 at half.

The third quarter was much like the 2nd in that the Heat made some runs and the Hawks would have to find ways to stop it.  The Heat cut the lead to 5 with 1:47 left in the 3rd, but the Hawks pushed it back out to 7 for the start of the 4th.  That’s as close as the Heat would get as Hawks dominated the final frame.  The Hawks lead got to as big as 19 with 4:39 left and the frustration began to show with the Heat.

Both Mario Chalmers and Udonis Haslem got T’ed up on the same trip down the floor as the Heat fell apart late. Chalmers should’ve earned a 2nd T and a quick shower when he shoved Thabo on a Heat quick break, but the refs gave him a break and only called personal.  The closest the Heat got in the final 4 minutes was at the final buzzer, 114-103.

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The Hawks executed their offensive game plan to perfection with 8 guys in double digits and three guys with 6 or more assists. Atlanta had a pair of guys, Horford and Millsap, with 19 points while Teague dropped 16 points and 9 assists.  The Hawks probably won the game at the guard position as Teague and Korver dropped 28 points and 16 dimes as compared to James Ennis and Norris Cole’s 7 points and 8 assists (all Cole).

This was a much needed home win for the Hawks as they take a quick flight to Cleveland to take on LeBron and the Cavs tomorrow at 7:30 pm ET. A fifth straight win won’t be easy to come by, as LeBron will be coming off a 41-point road performance against the Celtics. Check back tomorrow morning for the game preview and full coverage tomorrow night.