MIAMI (Ticker) -- With a wildly successful road swing behind
them, the Miami Heat return home with a golden opportunity to
set a franchise record when they host the Atlanta Hawks on
Monday at AmericanAirlines Arena.
A win for the Heat would be their 12th straight, breaking the
club record they currently share with the 1996-97 team.
The 10th and 11th victories on the streak were certainly
memorable as Miami took care of a pair of tough Western
After a remarkable fourth-quarter comeback gave the Heat a
109-107 win over the Sacramento Kings on December 23, they stole
an overtime thriller from the Los Angeles Lakers in a highly
anticipated matchup on Christmas.
Shaquille O'Neal's return to the Staples Center yielded 24
points and 11 rebounds but also six fouls that forced him out of
action in the extra session. Dwyane Wade and Eddie Jones took
over to push Miami to a 104-102 win, scoring four points apiece
Wade produced 29 points and 10 assists to help the Heat offset a
42-point effort by O'Neal's rival Kobe Bryant.
Damon Jones scored 11 points, grabbed five rebounds and had four
assists with no turnovers Saturday, another strong outing for
the guard whose production can be directly tied to Miami's
surge. The Heat are 11-0 since inserting Jones into the
starting lineup December 6.
Wade was the star when Miami last met Atlanta, a 99-93 victory
November 24. He scored 31 points, dished out 11 assists and
grabbed eight rebounds.
That decision was one of nine straight losses for the Hawks en
route to their worst 25-game start in franchise history (5-20).
They are coming off an odd split of a home-and-home set with the
Atlanta got just two players into double figures, led by Antoine
Walker's 13 points, and scored just 45 through three quarters
en route to an embarrassing 90-68 loss on December 18.
The Hawks rebounded by torching the Mavericks at home four days
later, shooting 54 percent from the floor in a 113-100 win. The
pair of games represented Atlanta's lowest and highest offensive
outputs, respectively, of the season.
Including its win last month, Miami has taken seven of the last
eight meetings and five straight at home.