|Atlanta's Josh Smith can only watch as Dwyane Wade (35 points) goes up for a shot after stealing a pass intended for the Hawks' Acie Law. (WILFREDO LEE/Associated Press)|
Heat win by freezing out Hawks
Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat were far from perfect offensively. Fortunately for them, the Atlanta Hawks were worse.
Much, much worse.
The NBA's leading scorer, Wade finished with 35 points and the Heat held the Hawks without a field goal for nearly 13 1/2 minutes during one first-half stretch, beating Atlanta, 95-79, last night in Miami.
Atlanta set a franchise-futility record with its 27-point first half. Still, the Hawks got within 7 points early in the final quarter before a quick 11-3 burst fueled by Wade and Mario Chalmers sealed it for the Heat.
Miami had a season-high 12 blocked shots and allowed the Hawks seven assists - the fewest by any Heat opponent this season.
One downside for Miami: Heat rookie Michael Beasley banged knees with Josh Smith in the second quarter and didn't return.
The team called it a bruised left knee, and Miami's No. 2 scorer this season spent the rest of the game on the bench with a large icepack strapped to his leg.
Marvin Williams's 3-pointer with 5:57 left in the first quarter gave the Hawks a 12-11 lead. Things went downhill from there at an incredibly rapid pace for Atlanta.
The Hawks missed their next 13 shots, plus committed 10 turnovers during the drought, during which Miami went on a 22-5 run. Williams and Flip Murray each were 0 for 3, with both having dunk attempts blocked for good measure.
Knicks 104, Rockets 98 - Wilson Chandler responded to being taken out of the starting lineup with 18 points, and host New York beat Houston.
Chandler's 3-pointer with more than two minutes left gave the Knicks the lead for good, 97-96.
Al Harrington replaced him in the starting lineup after Chandler had averaged just 3.3 points on 25-percent shooting over his previous three games. He was 6 of 10 and added 7 rebounds and 3 assists.
Tracy McGrady led Houston with 20 points in his second game back from a left knee injury. The Rockets were playing without center Yao Ming (sore right knee) for the second straight game. Houston led, 89-80, with less than eight minutes left when the Knicks went on a 14-5 run to tie the score.
Timberwolves 90, Bucks 83 - Al Jefferson scored 23 points and had 10 rebounds and Ryan Gomes added 22 points, lifting visiting Minnesota over shorthanded Milwaukee.
It was Milwaukee's first game since Michael Redd's season-ending knee injury.
The Timberwolves, winners of 10 of their last 12, relied on Jefferson, who roamed the paint freely with Bucks center Andrew Bogut missing his seventh straight game because of back spasms.
Thunder 94, Nets 85 - Kevin Durant scored 9 of his 18 points in the third quarter, when host Oklahoma City outscored New Jersey, 31-14, on the way to victory.
The Thunder treated a crowd estimated at 5,000 to the team's 10th win of the season. Icy weather held the Ford Center well below the 18,000-plus who had attended the first 23 home games.
Oklahoma City led by as many as 30 in the fourth quarter before New Jersey's reserves rallied to cut the deficit to 7 in the final minute. Durant was reinserted late to help the Thunder hold on.
Suns 103, Wizards 87 - Shaquille O'Neal had no problem with back-to-back games at the end of a road trip, scoring 29 points as Phoenix wrapped up a six-game East Coast swing with a win over Washington.
O'Neal went 10 for 14 from the field, 9 for 10 from the free throw line, and had eight rebounds in 36 minutes for the Suns, who salvaged their trip by winning the last two games to finish 3-3.
Hornets 101, 76ers 86 - Chris Paul had 27 points, 15 assists, 10 rebounds, and 7 steals for his fifth triple-double of the season, and host New Orleans defeated Philadelphia.
Peja Stojakovic highlighted a 26-point performance with six 3-pointers for New Orleans, which was badly outscored inside because of the absence of big men David West (back spasms) and Tyson Chandler (sprained left ankle), but made up for it with 14 3-pointers as a team.
Trail Blazers 113, Clippers 88 - Brandon Roy scored 33 points on 11-of-15 shooting to lead visiting Portland past Los Angeles. The game was tight all the way until the Trail Blazers reeled off a 15-3 spurt in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter to open a 92-76 lead.