Wade, Heat even series in Atlanta

The Sports Network
4/23/2009 3:02:09 AM
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Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Dwyane Wade finished with 33 points, seven assists and five rebounds, as the Miami Heat evened their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series with a 108-93 Game 2 win over the Atlanta Hawks.

In Game 1 of the series on Sunday, Wade scored 19 points and committed eight turnovers as the fifth-seeded Heat were blown out by the fourth-seeded Hawks, 90-64. However, he rebounded for Wednesday's contest and finished with six of the Heat's 15 three-pointers, a Miami playoff record.

With the best-of-seven series tied at a game apiece, it heads to Miami for Saturday's Game 3.

"I just came in early and shot the ball, got my kinks out," Wade said. "Got a feel for the rim over the last couple days in practice...I was happy that I had a breakout shooting night tonight."

Daequan Cook made 6-of-9 three-pointers and ended with 20 points off the bench for the Heat, while Jermaine O'Neal added 19 points. Udonis Haslem made a couple key jumpers down the stretch and scored 10 total points.

Mike Bibby had a team-high 18 points for the Hawks, while Josh Smith ended with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Al Horford also had a double-double, with 11 points and 11 boards, in the loss.

"He made some shots, but I don't think that was the killer factor," Atlanta head coach Mike Woodson said of Wade. "We let their bench really play a major role in the game tonight."

Miami held a lead for most of the game, as its advantage ballooned to as many as 18. But Atlanta made a late charge and got within 96-91 on a Smith finger- roll lay-in with a little over four minutes left.

But Haslem countered with a jumper, and after a series of missed shots and free throws, Wade canned a long bank-shot three-pointer with 2:36 left as the shot clock expired. The basket was a dagger, as Miami took a 101-91 lead and cruised to the finish.

"This is a little bit normal for us in terms of the tempo," Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Again, it helps if you make some of those shots down at the end of the clock."

Wade had a layup and followed with a three-pointer to give the Heat an 18-11 lead, and they essentially played in front the rest of the game, though Atlanta stayed close for much of the contest.

A Jamario Moon put-back gave Miami a 24-18 edge going into the second, and the teams traded points in the early part of the new stanza. The Heat at times threatened to stretch their lead to double digits, but Atlanta stayed close, and got within 41-35 on a pair of Flip Murray foul shots with just over four minutes to go.

But Wade took over, scoring Miami's final 13 points -- including three three- pointers. Atlanta had only six points in the same span, and Wade's final three put the Heat ahead 54-41 at halftime.

Miami reeled off six consecutive points -- four from O'Neal -- shortly into the third quarter to take a 60-43 advantage. The Heat continued to hold a double-digit margin and went in front 83-65 on a Cook three with a little over a minute left.

But the Hawks closed the frame with seven straight points, including five from Murray, whose three-pointer got Atlanta within 83-72 heading to the fourth.

Bibby connected on a three nearly four minutes into the final quarter, and after each team missed a variety of shots, Joe Johnson drilled another trey to draw Atlanta within 93-86 at the midway point.

After an O'Neal free throw, Murray got a rebound tipped away from the lane by Smith and sank a shot while being fouled. He made the shot to trim Miami's lead to 94-89, but Haslem came up big and sank a mid-range jumper to put the Heat up seven with 4 1/2 minutes remaining.

Notes: Six Atlanta players reached double-figure scoring: Bibby, Smith, Horford, Johnson (16 points), Murray (15) and Marvin Williams (11). The Hawks, however, made only 44.2 percent of their shots, and just 6-of-20 from beyond the arc...Atlanta made 19-of-30 free throws...Miami shot 55.6 percent overall and even better (15-of-26, 57.7 percent) from three-point range...Michael Beasley had 12 points and seven rebounds for the Heat...The Hawks' live mascot, Spirit, caused a delay at the outset of the game when he perched on top of the scoreboard for several minutes. However, the trainer quickly came out and coaxed him off so action could resume.

Dwayne Wade (Photo: Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)


(Photo: Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)
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