LeBron James scored 43 points, including 23 in a dominant third quarter, and the Miami Heat beat the Atlanta Hawks 106-85 on Friday night.
Chris Bosh had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Dwyane Wade had 14 points as Miami rolled to the runaway win in its first visit of the season to Atlanta.
James made 16 of 21 shots, including five 3-pointers.
The Heat took the lead for good midway through the opening period and put the game away in such convincing fashion that James and the other starters sat out the final period.
Miami’s starters took a big lead of 32 points before turning the game over to the backups.
Marvin Williams scored 15 points and Damien Wilkins had 14 for the Hawks, who have lost seven of 10. Atlanta’s top scorer among its starting five was Al Horford, with only 11 points.
James had half of Miami’s points in leading the Heat to an 86-57 lead through three periods. James then put on his warmup suit and watched the final period from the bench.
James was 8 for 8 from the field in the first half, when he had 20 points. He was just getting started.
The high-scoring James made eight of 13 shots from the field in his 23-point third quarter. Incredibly, it wasn’t his most productive 12 minutes of the season. James had 24 points in the third quarter at Cleveland on Dec. 2.
His season high is 51 points at Orlando on Feb. 3.
The Hawks went about 5 1/2 minutes without a field goal in the third period as Miami turned the game into a rout with a procession of 3-pointers and three-point plays.
James and Wade each had two 3-pointers in a 12-0 Miami run. James then added a dynamic three-point play, scoring on a scoop over Jamal Crawford, who was called for the foul. James then took a long walk past the Atlanta bench, staring at the sellout crowd of 20,024, before adding the free throw for a 73-42 lead.
The Hawks’ frustrations grew with their deficit.
James hit two free throws with 1:51 remaining in the third quarter to give him 40 of Miami’s 80 points. He complained after he was fouled by Zaza Pachulia late in the period. The officials then huddled and called a flagrant foul on Pachulia. James made both free throws as Hawks coach Larry Drew complained to the officials that they were giving James superstar treatment.
Pachulia drew a second technical with 49 seconds remaining after he was fouled by Joel Anthony and then gave Anthony a light push on his way to the free-throw line.
A hook shot by Josh Smith gave Atlanta a 15-10 lead with about 5 minutes left in the opening period. Miami scored the next nine points to take the lead and then pulled away with a 7-0 run to open the second period.
Mike Bibby, making his first return to Atlanta, received a warm ovation when he entered the game late in the opening period. Bibby was traded to Washington on Feb. 23 in the five-player deal that sent Kirk Hinrich to Atlanta. Bibby walked away from his contract to sign with Miami on March 2.
Bibby had two points.
Notes: Miami C Zydrunas Ilgauskas (right foot infection) was not with the team as he missed his fourth straight game. Coach Erik Spoelstra said Ilgauskas won’t play when Miami plays a home game against Denver on Saturday. … The Hawks made only 4 of 10 free throws in the first half and 12 of 22 for the game. … There were only two lead changes.