Ray Allen and Shane Battier sparked a fourth quarter surge for Miami as the two veterans helped the Heat erase a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter by combining for 24 points to knock off the Atlanta Hawks 103-90 Wednesday night.
The Heat outscored the Hawks 40-17 in the final quarter as Allen and Battier combined to hit five three-pointers. The 40 mark was the most fourth quarter points since LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined the team, as the victory extended Miami’s winning-streak to a season-best eight straight games.
James led the charge with a team-high 24 points on 53 percent overall (8-of-15), to go along with 11 assists, six rebounds and four steals in 40 minutes of action. He had eight assists in the fourth quarter alone but came up short of extending his franchise-record of seven straight games with at least 30 points.
Dwyane Wade struggled from the field (8-of-18) and free-throw line (4-of-8), but finished with 20 points. Battier took all of his shots from behind the arc and went 5-of-8 for 17 points with a pair of free-throws. Allen scored 13 of his 15 total points in the fourth and point guard Mario Chalmers rounded out the bunch scoring 14. Bosh had a pedestrian six points and six boards.
In the midst of lingering trade discussions, prime target Josh Smith did not have an impressive game against Miami but did find somehow to impressively fill the stat sheet, narrowly missing a triple-double performance with 10 points, nine rebounds and a season-high nine assists.
Smith has been the most talked about player regarding Thursday’s 3:00 p.m. trade deadline and could have possibly played in his final game of his nine-year Hawks career Wednesday night.
Teammate Al Horford did have an impressive outing, as he went for 27 points on 80 percent shooting and nine boards. Kyle Korver hit four-of-five 3-pointers and pulled down seven rebounds to go with three assists and two steals. Ivan Johnson (10 )also scored in double-figures.
The Heat and Hawks were neck-and-neck for much of the game as Atlanta overcame a seven-point first quarter deficit and was leading 49-45 at halftime. Miami trailed the entire third period and went into the fourth down 73-63.
Then the Heat erupted.
Miami scored the first 13 points of the quarter and went on to dominate the fourth as they outscored Atlanta 40-17 to cruise to a 103-90 victory, extending their winning streak to eight straight.
The Heat (37-14) head to Chicago to play the Bulls (31-22) on Thursday at 8:00 PM (EST).
The Hawks (29-23) host the Sacramento Kings (19-36) on Friday at 7:30 PM (EST).