Miami, FL – LeBron James scored 31 points and Miami escaped 86 victory over Atlanta on Wednesday.
James' stat-stuffing night was nearly not enough, as Atlanta got within one on two occasions in the final 30 seconds only to miss out on overtime after Jannero Pargo couldn't connect on a game-tying attempt just before the buzzer.
James also grabbed 11 rebounds, while Dwyane Wade added 18 points, nine boards and six assists and Chris Bosh contributed nine points and eight rebounds. Miami has won on back-to-back nights after a two-game skid.
Josh Smith led Atlanta with 23 points and six rebounds, while Jeff Teague added 16 points. Jerry Stackhouse scored 10 off the bench and Zaza Pachulia posted nine points and 10 boards for the Hawks, who saw their three-game winning streak come to an end.
Points were at a premium in the fourth with Atlanta taking an 80-77 edge with seven straight capped by Smith's triple with just under 3 1/2 minutes to go. Miami scored the next six with Udonis Haslem's mid-range shot putting the Heat in front, 83-80, with 1:07 to go.
Pachulia made just 1-of-2 free throws on the other end, and Bosh's jumper went down on the other end for an 85-81 score. Atlanta extended the game, making it interesting into the final seconds. Pargo's conventional three-point play brought the Hawks within one, and Vladimir Radmanovic made a layup to counter Haslem's slam with just 3.7 seconds left.
Wade calmly sank two free throws with 2.7 seconds remaining, setting the stage for Pargo's attempt that went begging.
James scored 11 in the first period and Miami held a 23-14 lead on his fadeaway jumper with just over two minutes to go in the quarter. Atlanta rallied and drew within 25-22 by quarter's end after Radmanovic's triple.
Atlanta tied the game and took the lead at 40-38 on Teague's jumper nearing the three-minute mark, and the Hawks took a two-point advantage, 45-43, into the locker room thanks to Stackhouse's triple in the closing seconds.
The Hawks rattled off 10 successive points to build a double-digit margin, 61-51, in the third. Williams scored the first five then Smith drained a jumper and Kirk Hinrich connected on a transition three-pointer. Miami missed all three of its shots during the stretch.
Miami exerted its force late in the period, going on a 13-0 scoring stretch that turned the double-digit deficit into a 68-65 lead. Stackhouse again capped a quarter with a three, this one tying the contest heading into the fourth.
The game featured eight ties and 12 lead changes...Miami made 44 percent of its shots, but missed all 10 of its three-point attempts...Atlanta shot 46 percent from the floor, and drained eight three-pointers...The Heat controlled the glass, 41-36...Haslem scored eight points and pulled down four rebounds for the Heat.