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Hawks rally to end long road losing streak in Miami, 82-79

POSTED: November 25, 2007 5:04 a.m.

MIAMI -- Josh Smith blocked Dwyane Wade's potentially game-tying layup with 3.9 seconds left, Joe Johnson scored 22 points and the Atlanta Hawks rallied from a 10-point deficit entering the final quarter to beat the Miami Heat 82-79 Wednesday night.

It was Atlanta's first win in its past 18 road games, dating back to last season. Naturally, it came in Miami — where the Heat have lost eight straight.

Smith had 16 points and 11 rebounds, Marvin Williams scored 13 points and added 10 rebounds and Josh Childress added 11 for Atlanta.

Shaquille O'Neal had 18 points, 10 rebounds and seven blocks — his most in nearly three years — for Miami. O'Neal passed Alex English for 11th on the NBA's scoring list with his eighth point, but other than that, there was once again nothing for Miami to enjoy at home.

Udonis Haslem scored 17 points for the Heat, as did Ricky Davis — who missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer for Miami, which fell to 2-9. Wade finished with 14 points on 4-for-12 shooting.

Atlanta opened the fourth quarter on a 15-3 run, taking the lead for the first time since the opening minutes with 6:43 left on a pair of free throws by Childress.

Miami's first basket of the fourth didn't come until 6:03 remained, and it was a Wade highlight-reel effort. Driving the lane, he got fouled, scored, tumbled to the court and did a couple push-ups with the score knotted at 71.

But two 3-pointers by Johnson — the second a long one from the left wing with 1:58 left — gave Atlanta a 79-74 edge.

Haslem scored four quick points to get Miami within one, then was hit with a foul call the Heat strongly disliked with 1:11 left. With the ball on the floor, he and Smith both dove — but referee Tony Brown whistled Haslem, Smith hit two free throws and Atlanta was up 81-78.

A free throw by Wade got Miami within two, Smith missed badly with 16 seconds left and the Heat called timeout to set up a final shot. Wade drove, but couldn't get past Smith, and Williams hit a free throw for the final margin.

Atlanta won by hanging around when things were going badly early.

Atlanta shot 29 percent in the first quarter, 28 percent during the second, but never fell behind by more than a somewhat-managable 11 points in the half. The Hawks limited Miami to one field goal in the final 3½ minutes before intermission, getting within 43-37 at the break.

The Hawks stayed pesky when the second half started.

Miami pushed the lead to eight points on seven different occasions in the first 6 minutes of the third quarter, and every time, the Hawks would score before the Heat could extend the lead to double digits.

And when Wade headed to the bench with 9:05 left in the period with his fourth foul, the Hawks' chances looked even better. Atlanta got within 58-54 on a dunk by former Florida standout Al Horford with 4:49 left, and the crowd was quiet — no doubt wondering if this game, too, would slip away.

They relaxed — briefly, anyway — a bit when another former Gator gave Miami some breathing room.

Haslem scored six straight points in a 72-second span, single-handedly putting Miami up 64-54, and the cushion was still 10 when the fourth quarter began.

But Miami was outscored 26-13 in the final 12 minutes.

Notes: Wade was briefly shaken up with 10:11 left in the third quarter. He grabbed his surgically repaired left knee on a play where Smith was called for a blocking foul and was in obvious distress, but showed no other ill effects. ... Atlanta missed its first seven shots, then went 0-for-4 to start the second quarter. ... Miami's last home win was April 13 against Indiana.



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