Without Dwyane Wade for the first time this season Friday night, the Miami Heat looked lost from the start and never led in a 114-103 loss to the Atlanta Hawks for their second consecutive loss.
The Hawks (5-3) scored the first seven points of the game and raced out to a 12-1 advantage just minutes into the game. The closest Miami (5-4) could get was four points at several points in the game, with the home team able to respond each time the Heat threatened.
Kyle Korver (12 points, seven assists, six rebounds) led the Hawks in the first half with his long-range shooting. The frontcourt of Paul Millsap and Al Hordford scored 19 points each and combined for 15 rebounds and six assists. On top of that, the Hawks bench provided plenty of support to keep the Heat at bay, led by reserve point guards Shelvin Mack with 12 points and Dennis Schroder with 10 points and six assists.
After the Heat’s rough start, Mario Chalmers came in for an ineffective James Ennis — who was making his first start in place of Wade — and proceeded to help the Heat claw back into the game. He was aggressive with his shot, scoring 23 points off the bench. He also got his teammates involved with 11 assists, though his frustration boiled over late in the game when he was called for a technical foul.
Shawne Williams scored a season-high 21 points and was a force from long range, where he shot 5 of 6 from 3-point territory. Chris Bosh was solid with 20 points and eight rebounds after bouncing back from his 9-point performance against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday, but it wasn’t enough.
THE TURNING POINT
Poor rebounding and defense by the Heat helped the Hawks rush out to a big 21-8 lead midway through the first quarter, which the Heat failed to recover from despite several runs during the rest of the game.