for this game

Heat hold off streaking Hawks

Dec 5, 2010 - 6:22 AM Miami, FL (Sports Network) - His return to Cleveland in the rear-view mirror, LeBron James was free to focus on just basketball.

James scored 22 points and combined with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade for 84 percent of Miami's offense in an 89-77 victory Saturday over a pesky Atlanta Hawks team.

Two days after dropping a season-high 38 in the Heat's rout of Cleveland, James took just 11 shots and scored half of his points at the foul line.

But his teammates picked up the slack. Bosh poured in 27 and Wade scored 26 to carry the load in the Heat's fourth straight win. Both players also grabbed 10 rebounds.

Miami is now 5-1 since a three-game losing dropped the Eastern Conference favorites to 8-7 on Nov. 24 -- a record that seemed impossible considering the three stars its fields every night.

"We're figuring out what it takes for us three to be successful," said James.

Al Horford scored 22 to lead the Hawks, who had a five-game winning streak snapped.

Returning to the court one day after coming from 18 points back to beat Philadelphia, the Hawks tried to avoid a letdown in this one. They trailed by as many as 17 points in the first half against Miami before making a game of it.

Horford scored 14 points in the third quarter, and the Hawks cut their deficit from 14 points to two, 63-61, entering the fourth.

"You have to give Atlanta credit," Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra said. "It's not like we just allowed them back into the game."

But Wade scored five points in a 9-2 run to open the final quarter and Miami jumped out to a 72-63 lead on Bosh's hook shot with 7:31 remaining. Atlanta rebounded with a 9-2 spurt of its own and pulled within 74-72 on Jamal Crawford's driving layup.

The Heat, however, sealed the game with an 11-0 run capped by a pair of James free throws at 1:22 that made it 85-72.

Besides Miami's Big 3, only three other players scored for the Heat, led by Mario Chalmers' nine points off the bench. Reserve James Jones added three points and starting guard Carlos Arroyo had two. Starting center Zydrunas Ilgauskas was scoreless in 16 minutes.

James, Bosh and Wade combined for 23 of Miami's 26 points in the first quarter as the Heat built an 11-point lead after 12 minutes.

They scored 19 of 24 points in the second quarter to account for 84 percent of Miami's offense in a 50-36 first half.

The Heat shot 54.1 percent from the field in the half.

Game Notes

Miami improved to 9-2 this season against teams with records below .500...The Heat are just 4-6 against winning teams...Crawford and Josh Powell had 12 points apiece off the bench for Atlanta...The Heat shot 47.2 percent for the game and Atlanta 40.