Heat host Hawks in meeting of Southeast’s best

Updated: December 10, 2012

Two of the top teams in the Southeast Division get together Monday night as the Miami Heat entertain the Atlanta Hawks in south Florida.

Miami got back on track with Saturday’s 106-90 victory over the New Orleans Hornets behind 26 points from Dwyane Wade. LeBron James added 24 points, seven assists and five rebounds for Miami, which shot 58 percent from the floor and made 7-of-11 3-pointers (63.6 percent).

Ray Allen and Shane Battier both scored 11 points in the win.

“We didn’t do everything right but the commitment on the defensive end was better than the last two games,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said after the Heat ended a two-game slide and won for the seventh time in nine tries.

The Heat, who improved to 9-0 when shooting at least 50 percent, are 1-1 so far on a six-game homestand and will also host Golden State, Washington and Minnesota.

James has at least 20 points in all 18 games this season for a Miami squad that has scored at least 100 points in nine of the 10 home games, averaging 109.4 ppg in that time.

The Hawks opened a three-game road trip with a 93-83 triumph at Memphis on Saturday thanks to Lou Williams’ 21 points off the bench, including 13 in the fourth quarter. Williams also made 4-of-6 3-pointers.

“It was looking like another night where I wasn’t going to impact the game,” said Williams. “I just went out with a blaze and it worked out in my favor.”

Josh Smith led the Hawks with 24 points and Al Horford added 19 points and a game-high 14 rebounds for Atlanta, which has won three straight and nine of its last 10 games. Horford has posted five straight double-doubles, averaging 18.0 points and 12.4 rebounds over that stretch.

Hawks guard Kyle Korver missed his fourth straight game due to back problems and is expected to miss tonight’s game in Miami.

The Hawks, winners of three straight away from Philips Arena, will close out the road swing Wednesday at Orlando.

Atlanta dropped a 95-89 home loss to the Heat on Nov. 9 this season and has lost four straight and 10 of the last 12 meetings. The Hawks haven’t fared too well in south Florida either, losing 17 of the previous 21 games there.