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Hawks scorched by Heat
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ATLANTA — Miami coach Erik Spoelstra believes two days can change the Heat’s season.

Two wins in two days at least lifted the team’s mood entering the All-Star break.

Jermaine O’Neal scored 19 points, Dwyane Wade had 18 and Miami took advantage of Atlanta’s thin bench to beat the Hawks 94-76 on Wednesday night.

Miami pulled away with a 10-0 run in the final period.

The Heat won two straight — each by large margins — in back-to-back nights heading into the All-Star break. Miami (26-27) beat Houston 99-66 on Tuesday night and enters the break only one game below .500.

“It’s an opportunity for us, in a matter of 48 hours, to change the momentum going into the break,” Spoelstra said.

Daequan Cook led the Heat reserves with 17 points, including 13 in the fourth quarter, and Udonis Haslem added 14 as Miami’s backups outscored their Hawks counterparts 45-8.

“This is a huge, huge win for us,” Haslem said. “Going into the break with a win like this takes a little bit of the weight off our shoulders.”

Miami outscored Atlanta 27-12 in the fourth period. Each team was playing for the second straight day, but only the Hawks lacked energy.

“Just an awful fourth quarter,” Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. “We just ran out of juice or just didn’t have the energy to get through it.”

Josh Smith scored 18 points to lead Atlanta and Joe Johnson had 16 on 7-for-21 shooting.

“It’s kind of frustrating when you don’t give yourself a chance to win from the beginning,” Smith said. “We really didn’t come to play today.”

The Hawks (33-18) enter the break in a virtual tie with Boston for third place in the Eastern Conference.

Sixth man Jamal Crawford, the Hawks’ second-leading scorer, and backup center Zaza Pachulia missed the game with injuries.
Crawford, who led the Hawks with 28 points in Tuesday night’s win at Memphis, was held out with a sore left shoulder.

“It’s huge,” Woodson said. “You’re talking about 17 or 18 points that’s missing in action, but that’s no excuse. We just didn’t get it done tonight.”

The decision to hold out Crawford was made minutes before the game. The Hawks said Crawford woke up Wednesday with the sore shoulder.

“He didn’t want to chance it and I’ve got to respect that and move on,” Woodson said.

Wade acknowledged the Hawks were not at full strength.

“I think we took advantage of the opportunity; them not having Crawford really helped us,” Wade said.

Atlanta struggled to find other players to fill the scoring void from its reserves. Moe Evans had four points and Joe Smith and Jeff Teague each had two points.

The Hawks fell to 21-6 at Philips Arena as their streak of five straight home wins ended. Atlanta also snapped its streak of five straight home wins against the Heat.

Miami ended a four-game road losing streak.

“We played good team basketball, so going to the break, especially with the next four games on the road after the break, coming here and getting this win hopefully will give us confidence,” Wade said.

Cook, who averages 4.5 points per game, hit back-to-back 3-pointers and then added another basket to break a 71-71 tie and give the Heat the lead for good. Carlos Arroyo capped the 10-0 run to push the lead to 81-71. The 10 unanswered points led to a decisive 23-5 run.

“Cook got it going,” Smith said. “Whenever you have a player like that, when he gets it going it’s kind of hard to put out the fire. Most of that run D-Wade was sitting on the bench, so we really can’t let that happen.”

Miami outscored Atlanta 23-15 in the second quarter to lead 43-42 at halftime.

Haslem had 10 points and five rebounds in the first half as Miami’s bench outscored Atlanta’s reserves 19-3 in the first half.

NOTES: Miami won at Atlanta for the first time since March 21, 2007. ... Pachulia missed his second straight game with a sore left hip. The team expects Pachulia to be cleared when it resumes practice on Monday following the All-Star break. ... Woodson and Miami’s Michael Beasley were called for technical fouls with 1:02 remaining in the first half.
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