The Miami Heat did exactly what they wanted to do last night in Atlanta, opening up a large lead and maintaining it throughout the second half. That way, Erik Spoelstra was able to rest his starters and keep his rotation players fresh, with the Heat playing 3 games in 3 nights. So far so good for Miami, who jumped all over the Hawks and came away with a 107-87 win.
You could tell early on that the Big 3 were looking to take over, scoring 45 of the Heat's 63 points in the first half. They wouldn't be needed much after that, as Miami stretched their lead to as much as 32 in the third quarter, and the Big 3 were able to sit out the rest of the game. LeBron James and Chris Bosh each had a double double, with James finishing with a game-high 23 points and 13 rebounds, while Bosh came away with 14 points and 16 rebounds.
The Heat starting backcourt was also quite good, with Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers both having strong offensive games. Wade started out by making 8 of his first 9 shots, finishing the game with 21 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and a block. Chalmers was great, going 6-of-7 from the field and 2-for-2 from downtown to finish with 15 points and a pair of assists.
- Miami's 63 first half points are the most points that the Hawks have given up in any half this season.
- Chris Bosh's 16 rebounds are a season high.
- Juwan Howard scored his first points since the second game of the season, coming away with 4 on 2-for-2 shooting.
- Shane Battier made 3 of his 4 shots, putting up another 7 points.
- In 19 minutes Udonis Haslem managed 4 points and 7 boards. Not too shabby.
- Norris Cole showed his aggression, putting up 11 shots and finishing with 10 points. He got to the foul line once and hit both his free throws.
Next up...game two of three in three nights. The Heat head up to Milwaukee looking for their first win of the season against the Bucks.