James leads Heat past Hawks

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MIAMI — LeBron James scored 27 points, Dwyane Wade had 26 and the Miami Heat pulled away in the second half to beat the Atlanta Hawks, 101-92, on Monday night, improving to 10-1 at home this season.

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Atlanta's Josh Smith shoots over Shane Battier (center) and Chris Bosh. Smith had 22 points in the loss.  ALAN DIAZ/ASSOCIATED PRESS
ALAN DIAZ/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Atlanta's Josh Smith shoots over Shane Battier (center) and Chris Bosh. Smith had 22 points in the loss.

James (10-16) and Wade (11-13) made 21 of 29 shots for Miami, which shot 58 percent as a team. Chris Bosh had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Norris Cole scored 10 for the Heat, who handed the Hawks just their second loss in 11 games.

Josh Smith scored 22 points, and Al Horford finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds for Atlanta, which briefly held the lead midway through the third quarter before the Heat got rolling and moved 1½ games ahead of the Hawks in the Southeast Division.

Atlanta has dropped both games against Miami this season and is 1-7 against the Heat since March 2011.

A big third-quarter run put the Heat in control, and one of James’ best dunks this season helped seal it in the fourth.

Miami led 56-54 after a well-played first half in which neither team led by more than five points. The Heat shot 64 percent from the field in the opening two quarters, 50 percent from 3-point range – but a mere 44 percent from the line, part of the reason why the margin was only two points at the break.

Atlanta made seven from beyond the arc in the first half, and through three quarters, Smith was 4 for 4 – already matching his career-best single-game total from long range.

But in the third, Miami began to flex its muscles.

Jeff Teague made a 3-pointer midway through the third to give Atlanta a 65-63 lead, but after that, Miami took off running.

A 17-4 run was the difference maker, turning a two-point deficit into an 11-point lead with 1:24 remaining in the third. Wade got it started with a jumper, and he wound up with eight during the burst, including a layup off a perfect pass by James from the right side of the lane. Shane Battier made two 3-pointers in the run, including the shot that ended it, and Miami’s margin was suddenly 80-69.

NOTES: Celebrities were everywhere, with Jay-Z and Beyonce near the Hawks’ bench, Floyd Mayweather Jr. across from the Miami bench and Lil Wayne watching from his now-usual baseline seat, headphones on virtually all night. ... The Heat were without Udonis Haslem (flu), and the Hawks played without Kyle Korver (back spasms). ... Smith entered the night 8 for 21 from 3-point range. ... The Heat caught a break late in the second quarter, when a pass from James was headed out of bounds before it caromed off the leg of referee Karl Lane. Mario Chalmers wound up setting James up for a layup and a 50-49 Miami lead.


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