The Heat win streak was never in jeopardy.
Forty-one seconds into the game the Heat had a lead and never trailed en route to a 98-81 win over the Hawks on Tuesday night.
The victory was the 19th consecutive for the Heat. The home team dressed in white uniforms — perhaps to signify that they have gone from red to white hot.
The Hawks (34-29) continue to falter. They lost for the third consecutive time and sixth in the past seven games. It was also their seventh consecutive loss to the Southeast Division and Eastern Conference leading Heat in what could be a potential first-round playoff matchup, if the Hawks continue to fall down the standings. They remain seventh in the Eastern Conference, tied with the Celtics, both 1.5 games ahead of the Bucks for the final spot.
The Hawks committed a season-high 24 turnovers, 11 in the first half. It was an issue coach Larry Drew warned his team about entering the hostile environment.
“Very early in tonight’s game I thought we did a very poor job,” Drew said. “The first quarter we had six turnovers. That is a recipe for disaster on the road playing a team as good as Miami. We turned the ball over six times in the first quarter. We turned it over five times in the second quarter.
“This was one of those games where I thought we would have to play well all four quarters and we got off to such a rocky start turning the basketball over. Yet, we were still within striking distance. I told the guys at halftime, when you are playing against a team like this you have to take care of the basketball. That is the only way that you are going to be able to play in a rhythm to dictate the pace of the basketball game.”
Josh Smith scored 15 points for the Hawks. Al Horford and Jeff Teague added 12 points. All three did not play in the fourth quarter, Teague because of a sprained left ankle. Drew was clearly not pleased with the Hawks’ shot selection.
Hawks no match for white-hot Heat
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Mar 13