ATLANTA — Joe Johnson made it two straight 30-point games, Josh Smith dominated during a decisive first-half run and the Atlanta Hawks won their sixth in the row, beating the Miami Heat 105-90 on Wednesday night to reclaim a share of the NBA's best record.
Johnson scored 30 points on the heels of a 35-point effort against Portland on Monday. Smith was all over the stat sheet: 16 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists, two blocks and two steals.
The Hawks (10-2) remained perfect at home and finally seemed to awaken the city of Atlanta to just how good this team might be. The first sellout of the season, 18,729, turned out at Philips Arena.
Michael Beasley led the Heat with 21 points. Dwyane Wade was held to 15 on 6-of-18 shooting, ending a streak of 23 straight regular-season games with at least 20 points.
The Hawks took control by outscoring Miami 28-8 over the final 8 minutes of the first half. Johnson got things rolling with a 3-pointer, but Atlanta did most of its damage out in the open court with Smith leading the way.
He had a thunderous dunk off a steal by Jamal Crawford and lob pass from Mike Bibby, and another dunk after Johnson swiped an errant pass by Wade. Finally, with the quarter winding down and the Hawks stretching their lead, Smith bulled his way inside and powered right through Jermaine O'Neal to bank in a shot and draw the foul.
Smith pumped his fist defiantly while O'Neal stared in disbelief, as if wondering what he could do to slow the Hawks' forward. He had 11 points, five rebounds, an assist and a block during the run, pushing Atlanta to a 60-43 halftime lead.
Miami cut its deficit to five points late in third quarter, but the Hawks reserves helped ice the victory early in the fourth. Marvin Williams was the only starter on the floor as Atlanta quickly restored its lead to 91-75, holding the Heat without a field goal until Michael Beasley finally scored with 7:22 remaining. Zaza Pachulia, Joe Smith, Jamal Crawford and Maurice Evans combined with Williams to put the visiting team away.
This was a rematch of last season's opening-round playoff series, won by the Hawks in seven games. They were swept in the following round by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Heat played without Udonis Haslem, who sat out after falling on his left shoulder in a loss to Oklahoma City the previous night. Then, Quentin Richardson sustained a lower back strain early in the third quarter and didn't return, further cutting into Miami's depth.
NOTES: Haslem wanted to play, but the coaching staff decided to play it safe. The Heat hopes he can return for Friday's game at Toronto. "He's a tough guy," Heat coach Erick Spoelstra said. "He'd like to play through it but he jammed it pretty good." ... Johnson had the 61st 30-point game of his career. ... The Hawks improved to 6-0 home. On Friday against Houston, they'll try to improve to 7-0 for the first time since 1997.