October 31, 2020

Miami’s Big three leads Heat to 107-87 rout of Hawks

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Miami Heat's LeBron James (6) high-fives teammate Chris Bosh (1) after Bosh drew a foul during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

ATLANTA (AP) — LeBron James scored 23 points, Dwyane Wade added 21 and the Miami Heat blew out the Atlanta Hawks 107-87 on Sunday night after racing to a 22-point lead at halftime.

The Heat made a big statement in the Southeast Division against the second-place Hawks, leading by as many as 32 in what turned into nothing more than a showcase for Miami’s Big Three.

By halftime, Wade already had 21 points, James was rolling along with 14 points and nine rebounds, and Chris Bosh put a double-double in the books with 10 points and 10 rebounds. The Heat went to the locker room with a commanding 63-41 advantage, the Hawks having surrendered their most points in a half this season.

Miami won for the 10th time in the last 12 games.

Bosh finished with 14 points and a season-high 16 rebounds. James grabbed 13 rebounds and doled out six assists. Wade had a couple of steals and blocked a shot.

The Hawks starters — four of whom were averaging in double figures — combined for just 40 points, led by Joe Johnson with 12. Willie Green actually led with 17 points, the reserves getting plenty of playing time as coach Larry Drew emptied his bench in the fourth quarter.

Atlanta lost for the fourth time in its last five home games, the average margin in those defeats nearly 15 points. Even more troubling, Atlanta has fallen behind by at least 20 points in all four losses.

The first two meetings between the division rivals were much more competitive. Atlanta pulled off a stunning 100-92 win in Miami on Jan. 2, but the Heat bounced back three days later on the Hawks’ home court for a 116-109 victory in triple overtime. James and Wade missed that second meeting, but Bosh carried the load with 33 points and 14 rebounds.

This time, Miami was at full strength. The result was a laugher.

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