Heat rally late to force OT, beat Hawks
MIAMI (AP) — LeBron James scored 38 points, Michael Beasley made two free throws with 9.2 seconds left to put Miami up for good, and the Heat beat the Atlanta Hawks 121-119 in overtime on Monday night.
The Heat wasted an early 13-0 lead, then rallied from seven points down in the final 90 seconds of the fourth quarter. Ray Allen made three free throws with 8 seconds left in regulation to send it to overtime, after getting fouled by Atlanta’s DeMarre Carroll.
Allen finished with 19 points, Mario Chalmers and Chris Andersen each scored 12 and Chris Bosh finished with 11 for the Heat, who played without Dwyane Wade and still beat the Hawks for the ninth straight time.
Jeff Teague scored 26 points, Paul Millsap made seven 3-pointers on the way to a 25-point night, and Al Horford finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds for Atlanta. Kyle Korver scored 15 for the Hawks.
The Hawks had a chance to win it at the end of overtime, but never got a good look. Chalmers used Miami’s foul-to-give with 2.3 seconds left, sending Atlanta back to the huddle and using its last time-out to draw a play.
Bosh, who was in the locker room getting stitches in his upper lip at the start of overtime, guarded the ball. The Hawks’ Pero Antic tried getting a lob to Korver, but Andersen snuffed out the play at the rim, got fouled and added a free throw with 0.3 seconds left. Andersen then knocked away Atlanta’s last-ditch pass as time expired, and the Heat finished off a perfect homestand.
Beasley had missed seven games with a strained hamstring, but checked in during the third quarter when Miami was facing a double-digit deficit. On the play where he was fouled by Millsap, he attacked the lane from the left side, drew contact and coolly made the free throws to put the Heat on top.
One stop was all Miami needed from there, and the Heat found a way.
Korver’s long 3 with about 1:40 left put Atlanta up 107-100, but the Hawks couldn’t put it away in regulation. James made a pair of 3-pointers, along with a dunk, and Allen got hit by Carroll on the play that Miami needed to force overtime.
Allen’s free throws: Swish, swish, swish.
It was all part of a game that had simply wild ebbs and flows.
The Hawks were scoreless for the game’s first 4:48, falling behind big as the Heat had everything working early — even a reverse dunk in transition from the suddenly spry Allen, who has been fighting tendinitis in his right knee for a few days. Shane Battier dove on the floor for a steal and to knock the ball ahead to James, who got loose for a dunk that put Miami up 13-0.
Atlanta got back into it quickly, answering with a 16-5 run to get within two. But the Heat closed with another flurry, and James’ no-look, cross-court pass set up Norris Cole’s 3-pointer with 0.8 seconds left to put Miami up 33-23 after the period.
It all changed in a hurry in the second.
Atlanta shot 72 percent; the Heat shot 32 percent. The Hawks outscored the Heat 31-17 and had a 54-50 lead at the break, fueled largely by Korver taking four shots, all from 3-point range, all of them good.
Millsap went 4 for 4 from beyond the arc in the third, Atlanta made six in all and led by as many as 11 before going into the fourth up 84-77.
NOTES: Korver’s NBA-record streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer is now at 97. … The Heat ran a tribute to Nelson Mandela on the arena screens at halftime, narrated by Alonzo Mourning, who spoke of his time meeting the former South African president who died earlier this month. … It was Miami’s last home game of 2013. Including playoffs, the Heat went 47-7 at AmericanAirlines Arena this year, winning the NBA title on their home court for the second straight season. … James has scored in double figures in 522 consecutive regular-season games, four shy of matching Moses Malone for the NBA’s fourth-longest such streak.