Tonight at 8PM EST, the Miami Heat will play the Hawks at the Philips Arena in Atlanta. This will be the fourth and final contest this season between the two teams, short of a possible playoff series. Atlanta won the first two, 93-90 in Miami on November 15th, and 103-95 in Atlanta on December 6th. Miami took a home matchup against the Hawks on February 1st in the last meeting between the two, by a 116-93 final.
In that game, Miami’s ninth consecutive victory at the time, the Heat were led by 27 points, five assists and five rebounds from Goran Dragic. Dion Waiters pitched in with 20 points and seven boards, and Hassan Whiteside scored 18 with as many rebounds and two blocked shots. James (16 points, three assists, three steals, two boards) and Tyler Johnson (11 points, five dimes, three assists, two blocks, two steals) came off the bench to round out Miami’s stellar showing. Kent Bazemore led the Hawks with 14 points, and Dwight Howard scored six with 11 rebounds.
You can see why they've won nine games in a row now. Both ends of the court, their activity, their aggressiveness, just really impressed with their players, their coaching staff, everything they're doing. - Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer
After this one, the Heat will catch a flight back to Miami to take on the Indiana Pacers tomorrow night, also at 8PM EST. The Hawks will also catch a flight to Florida for a game tomorrow night, against the Orlando Magic at 7PM EST.
All-Time Heat-to-Head: In 110 head-to-head matchups, the Heat have won 61 and lost 49. Their .555 winning percentage in such games ranks as their 11th best overall and their eighth best against an Eastern Conference opponent.
Odds: According to numberFire.com, Atlanta is given a 61.8% chance of victory, by a probable score of 101-98.
Miami Heat: 25-32, .439, 2.5 games behind the current eighth-seeded Detroit Pistons. Third in the Southeast Division, 10th in the Eastern Conference, 18th in the NBA. On pace for a 36-46 season. Last Five: W-W-L-L-W. Playoff Odds: 27.8%
Atlanta Hawks: 32-24, .571, 7.5 games behind the conference leading Cleveland Cavaliers. Second in the Southeast Division, Fifth in the Eastern Conference, 11th in the NBA. On pace for a 47-35 season. Last Five: L-W-L-W-L. Playoff Odds: 98.8%.
PG - Goran Dragic
SG - Rodney McGruder
SF - Dion Waiters
PF - Luke Babbitt
C - Hassan Whiteside
PG - Dennis Schroder (GTD)
SG - Kent Bazemore
SF - Thabo Sefolosha
PF - Paul Millsap
C - Dwight Howard
Join us here at Hot Hot Hoops for the GameThread, going live at 8 tonight, give or take 10 minutes.