ATLANTA, Nov. 24 (Ticker) -- Dwyane Wade
set 'em up and Udonis Haslem
knocked 'em down.
Wade had 31 points and 11 assists and Haslem scored 11 of his
season-high 21 points in the fourth quarter as the Miami Heat
edged the Atlanta Hawks, 99-93.
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had 21 points and nine rebounds for the Heat,
who improved to 8-0 against the Eastern Conference. But Miami
used its superstar center as a decoy in the fourth quarter, when
Wade and Haslem took over.
In a period that featured three ties and eight lead changes,
Wade controlled the offense as he repeatedly penetrated to set
up himself or his teammates. The primary beneficiary was
Haslem, who bounced back from a poor performance in Tuesday's
loss to Portland.
The play, a simple side pick-and-roll, was put in place by Miami
coach Stan Van Gundy at halftime. Its effect was huge, as
O'Neal, Haslem and Wade combined for 26 of the Heat's 28 points
in the fourth quarter.
"It was a great call by the coach," said Haslem, who shot just
3-for-17 on Tuesday. "We had three guys open - me, Dwyane and
Shaq. I think it took them by surprise."
"They were going under the screen on me, so I thought the jumper
was there," added Wade, who had eight points and four assists
in the fourth quarter. "And once I started making it, I knew it
would be difficult for them to stop that play. Then I started
making some passes out of it and got us going a little bit."
Wade, who also had eight rebounds, lobbed a pass to O'Neal for a
dunk that gave Miami the lead for good at 85-84 with 5:51 to
play. Haslem added two free throws and a jumper, then answered
a jumper by Jason Collier
with another mid-range shot for a
91-86 edge with 3:23 to go.
The Hawks closed to 92-91 on a three-point play by Kenny Anderson
with 1:43 to play. Haslem took a feed from Wade and
sank a jumper, then dove to the floor to recover a key loose
ball at the other end with 1:13 left.
"It was a big night for Udonis making those shots, after
(Tuesday) night," O'Neal said. "We just told him to keep
shooting. You'll either make it or you'll miss it. When I get
double-teamed, it gives other guys a chance to step up. I rely
on guys, just like they rely on me."
Two free throws and an acrobatic drive by Wade sealed it for
Miami, which is the only team yet to lose within its conference.
"(Wade) is the best second-year player I've seen since Michael
Jordan," O'Neal said. "He keeps everybody involved, and that's
the sign of a great player."
"Wade was big," added Hawks forward Antoine Walker
, who scored
22 points. "What separates him this year from last year is how
he makes the 18-foot jump shot."
Collier scored a season-high 20 points and Tony Delk
off the bench for Atlanta, which has yet to break 100 points