Fighting for the final roster spot, James Ennis had a convincing 19 point, six rebound game to lead the Heat to victory in Atlanta. With Whiteside and Winslow sitting out and the rest of the starters only playing the first half, Ennis and a few of the younger guys took the opportunity to shine.
The Heat played well to start the game and had it even 24-24 after the first 12 minutes. Bosh was the only starter to reach double figures as he provided 14 points and Gerald Green with 12 in the first half. However, the little help had the Heat behind 43-51 at half-time, which opened the floor to the Heat hopefuls.
The coaches decided to rest the starters to start the second half and it couldn't have worked out better. Ennis had 13 of his 19 points in the third quarter to help Miami flip the game, as well as Mario Chalmers, Tyler Johnson and Josh Richardson, who also contributed to the turnaround and led the giant 31-16 swing. Miami figured everything out in the third quarter except for PF Mike Scott, who had 19 points and 8 rebounds on 9/13 shooting. Despite the struggles with Scott, the backups played against the Hawks starters and nailed them from the time they were inserted, giving them a strong sense of confidence as they went into the fourth quarter.
From there, the Heat didn't look back. Keith Benson, playing against the team that drafted him, had a productive 12 points and seven rebounds with the majority of it coming in the fourth. Ennis sealed the game with back to back 3s from well behind the line to give the Heat the W and strengthen his chances of acquiring the final roster spot.
The Heat had an impressive weekend with back to back wins on the road against Houston and Atlanta, two teams expected to hover around the top of their conference. The Heat are now at .500 and will look to climb over with just two ames left on the preseason schedule.
The Heat play next on Wednesday at 8 P.M. The game will be on ESPN.