MIAMI, Jan. 19 (Ticker) -- Dwyane Wade
and the Miami Heat showed signs
of rust early, but turned it on when it mattered most.
Wade scored 12 of his 25 points in the third quarter and
added 25 as the Heat pulled away for a 111-92
victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
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"Shaquille had a very good first half offensively. Dwyane had a
very good second half offensively," Miami coach Stan Van Gundy
said. "There was far more good than bad, but I'd like to see
more consistency. I'm a gloom-and-doom guy. I'd like to see us
Miami was playing for the first time in five days after
finishing a 2-3 road trip with a double-overtime loss to the Los
Angeles Clippers on Friday. Wade sat out the final two games
of the trip with a myriad of ailments, among them a bruised rib
and a migraine headache.
After a slow start in this one, Wade got the Heat rolling in the
third. During a 12-3 run to close the quarter, he assisted on
a hoop by Michael Doleac
, then converted a three-point play for
an 80-68 lead with 60 seconds left.
Wade said a non-call on what he felt was a push "turned my game
around" and led to his more aggressive approach.
"It kind of energized us," Wade said. "I thought it needed some
(emotion). ... We needed something to get us over the hump. I
tried to bring as much as I could, and I was trying to have fun
"Sitting out for two games, you kind of miss basketball."
The Hawks, who have only won twice in 16 road contests this
season, wouldn't have minded if Wade had missed another game.
"We were in it until the third quarter once again, and then
Dwyane Wade takes over," Atlanta coach Mike Woodson
"It's a good combination we've got going," O'Neal said. "He has
fire, he has heart. He's a great competitor."
O'Neal, who carried the Heat on the road trip with 31.0 points
and 10.8 rebounds, shouldered the early load with 19 points and
nine rebounds in the first half, when Miami held a 54-49 edge.
"It's hard to get up for a team like that," said O'Neal, who had
12 rebounds. "But we did what we had to -- we won."
O'Neal has scored at least 25 points in eight straight games for
the Heat, who have won six in a row and nine of 10 over the
scored 18 points and grabbed 16 rebounds but was
0-of-6 from 3-point range, part of Atlanta's 2-of-14 effort from
The Hawks had split their last four games, but only led Miami
twice and by a point each time.
"I am frustrated with our play," Atlanta guard Tyronn Lue
"They have two of the best players in the league. When Shaq
(O'Neal) goes out, Dwyane starts playing more aggressively, and
when Dwyane goes out, Shaq gets more aggressive offensively.
(Shaq) did it to us last game, too. We did not accept the
challenge defensively tonight."