James, Heat hold of Hawks

Updated: December 11, 2012

LeBron James filled the stat sheet with 27 points, seven rebounds and six assists as the Miami Heat used a strong second half to down the Atlanta Hawks, 101-92, at American Airlines Arena.

Dwyane Wade followed with 26 points, while Chris Bosh recorded 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Heat, who won their second straight.

Josh Smith paced the Hawks with 22 points and Al Horford added his sixth straight double-double with 20 points and 11 boards as Atlanta had its three- game win streak snapped.

“We let them dictate how we were going to play, starting with me,” said Hawks point guard Jeff Teague, who had 11 points on 3-of-10 shooting and five turnovers. “We were kind of timid.”

The Heat carried a slim 56-54 lead into the third quarter after a tightly- contested first half which included 17 lead changes and eight ties.

Miami managed to stay on top through the opening five-plus minutes of the third quarter until Teague capped a quick 5-0 burst with a shot from beyond the arc, giving the Hawks a 65-63 edge.

But that would be the last time Atlanta would be on top in the contest as Wade led a 14-2 run with eight points to hand the Heat a 77-67 lead with 2:16 left in the third.

Atlanta could get no closer than six from there and trailed, 82-74, entering the fourth quarter, where a personal 6-2 push by James opened up an 88-76 advantage less than three minutes into the frame.

A Horford layup and a pair of Smith free throws brought the Hawks back within eight, but Norris Cole and Wade responded with back-to-back jumpers to give the Heat a 92-80 lead and they maintained a double-digit advantage for the remainder of the game until Johan Petro’s basket with about 10 seconds left accounted for the final margin.

“In the second half we made a better commitment to our communication,” Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We really tried to be disruptive on the defensive side, and on the other end there was pretty good execution.”

Neither team was able to take control in a back-and-forth first quarter that saw nine lead changes, six ties and ended with the Heat holding a 28-26 edge on James’ driving layup at the buzzer.

The two sides continued to trade blows in the second quarter as the lead exchanged hands eight more times, with the last coming when James completed a three-point play in the closing seconds for a 56-54 advantage entering the break.

Miami shot an efficient 63.9 percent (23-for-36) from the field in the opening 24 minutes, while the Hawks shot 46.3 percent (19-for-41).

Atlanta, however, was able to make 7-of-15 three-point attempts to keep the game close.