Fast start gives Heat edge over low scoring Hawks

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MIAMI (Reuters) - The Miami Heat snapped a three-game losing streak by beating the slumping Atlanta Hawks 92-75 on Monday.

The Heat (17-15) never looked back after racing into a 30-14 lead at the end of the first quarter with Dwyane Wade registering a team-high 28 points and Michael Beasley contributing 22 and eight rebounds.

"We've shown an ability to bounce back and have some resiliency," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters. "It was a strong, important win."

The Hawks (21-12) fell to their fourth straight defeat and recorded a season-low scoring total with reserve Jamal Crawford (23 points) one of just two players reaching double figures.

It was the second meeting this season between two teams who faced off in a seven-game first-round playoff series won by the Hawks last year.

"I guess it could be a little bit of a rivalry," said Miami forward Udonis Haslem.

The Heat started strongly and Beasley tallied 11 points in the first quarter to help Miami seize control of the contest with a 16-2 spurt.

The Heat led by as much as 25 in the second and were never really threatened the rest of the way.

Haslem added 12 points and eight rebounds to help the home side dominate the glass with a 52-30 advantage on the boards, despite the absence of injured big man Jermaine O'Neal.

Atlanta, now mired in their longest losing streak of the season, came in still reeling from Friday's overtime loss to the New York Knicks when they squandered a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter.

The Hawks have lost six of their last eight games to fall three games behind the leading Orlando Magic in the Southeast Division.

"We just didn't come out ready to play," said Atlanta coach Mike Woodson. "I have to take responsibility for that. It's unacceptable how we played."

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Edited by Patrick Johnston/Nick Mulvenney)