ATLANTA, Nov. 30 (Ticker) -- By the time Dwyane Wade got involved, the Miami Heat already had the Atlanta Hawks well under control.

The Heat stifled the Hawks in the first half and Wade scored 14 of his 20 points in the third quarter of a 96-74 victory, their first on the road since Shaquille O'Neal's injury almost four weeks ago.

NBA TV highlights from
Heat-Hawks:
Play
Jason Williams had 21 points and nine assists and Alonzo Mourning added 14 and 12 rebounds for Miami, which had lost four straight road games since O'Neal sprained his ankle Nov. 3. Overall, the Heat are 8-5 without their superstar center.

Beginning a five-game road trip, Miami fell into a 4-0 hole in the first minute but controlled the game thereafter. It limited Atlanta to eight points the rest of the opening period and 34 on 37.5 percent (15-of-40) shooting in the first half.

The Heat built a 45-34 halftime advantage without much help from Wade, who shot just 2-of-12 in the first half. The All-Star guard heated up in the third quarter, however, making 6-of-10 shots and helping Miami maintain its lead.

"When I'm shooting bad and we've got an (11)-point lead (at the half), it makes you feel pretty good about your team," Wade said. "Jason is playing well. He's the leader of the offense on our team."

"Dwyane played his worst half of the year in the first half," Miami coach Stan Van Gundy said. "But he rebounded very well and had a good third quarter."

The Hawks trailed, 70-59, entering the final period but closed to 72-65 with 9:47 left on a layup by Zaza Pachulia, who had 17 points and 11 rebounds.

However, on a night when Atlanta's hawk mascot "Spirit" refused to fly from the top of the arena to the court before the game, the Hawks allowed the Heat to take off as Miami scored 24 of the next 31 points - none by Wade, who was scoreless in the final period.

"We came out lackluster and we didn't have the energy in the second half," Hawks guard Royal Ivey said. "When we cut it to seven, we didn't capitalize, and they ended pulling away at the end."

"We had the same kind of fourth quarter we had last night (in Houston)," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. "It was a seven-point game and we had possession of the ball. Then it was a 20-point game. The same thing happened last night in the fourth quarter. It's kind of disappointing."

Although Wade was just 8-of-22, Miami shot 53 percent (40-of-75) and held a 29-10 advantage in bench scoring as it beat Atlanta for the eighth straight time. Gary Payton scored 13 points and fellow reserve Antoine Walker added six.

"I loved the way we finished the game and I love the way our bench played, but I'm not going to go crazy praising our guys because it was a very uneven performance," Van Gundy said. "We should have come out with more."

"I was happy we were able to get a win on the road," Mourning said. "We haven't been playing too well on the road. I think we have the capabilities to put a nice little road streak together. It's always good to start a long road trip off with a win."

Al Harrington had 16 points and nine rebounds and Joe Johnson scored 13 points for the Hawks, who were held to a season-low total and have lost three in a row.