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Shorthanded Heat begin three-game road trip in Atlanta

Nov 18, 2006 - 3:21 PM Miami (3-5) at Atlanta (4-3) 7:00 pm EST

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- The shorthanded Miami Heat open a three-game road trip against the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday.

The Heat are once again without superstar center Shaquille O'Neal, who will miss the next four-to-six weeks due to torn cartilage in his left knee. He suffered the injury last Sunday after colliding with Houston Rockets forward Chuck Hayes. There has not been a date set for when the surgery will take place.

Miami did not have O'Neal in the lineup Friday when it absorbed an embarrassing 100-76 home setback to the New York Knicks. Dwyane Wade scored 20 points and Udonis Haslem added 13 and eight rebounds for the Heat, who trailed by as many as 29 points en route to enduring their third straight loss overall and at home.

The back end of the road trip for Miami will be a challenge since it faces the New Orleans Hornets and San Antonio Spurs.

With a 103-101 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday, the Hawks are coming off consecutive setbacks. Joe Johnson and Tyronn Lue netted 29 points apiece and Josh Childress added 21 for Atlanta.

The Heat captured three of the four meetings last season. This is the first encounter of the 2006-07 campaign between these two clubs, who will not cross paths again until March.

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