Paul Millsap and most of his Atlanta Hawks teammates were red hot from the 3-point line. Michael Beasley was brought out of the deep freeze. And Chris Bosh was nearly knocked cold. Through it all, the barometer for the Miami Heat remained what it seemingly always remains: LeBron James. And so, even with Dwyane Wade again given a night off to rest his sore knees, and with Bosh watching most of the finish from the bench with stitches inside his lip, James found a way and, therefore, the Heat found a way, albeit requiring a bit of extra time to complete the task. With James scoring 38 points on an uncharacteristic 28 shots and adding eight rebounds and six assists, while playing without a single turnover in his 45:38, the Heat completed a 5-0 homestand Monday night with a 121-119 overtime victory over the Hawks at AmericanAirlines Arena. "This," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said, "is a game where you see his full skill set." "That's who he is," Beasley said. "He closes games." The Heat were able to overcome an 11-point second half deficit with James outscoring the Hawks 11-10 in the final 6:30 of regulation. Of taking those 28 shots, he said, "I felt the need for it, but I was feeling pretty good." "He had to shoulder a much bigger responsibility to score," Spoelstra said. But he didn't stand alone. Not with Ray Allen converting three free throws with eight seconds left in the fourth quarter, after being fouled on a 3-pointer, to close the scoring in regulation.
James' 38 help Heat survive without Wade against Hawks
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel | Dec 24