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Wade helps Heat take 2-1 series lead on Hawks

The Canadian Press

4/25/2009 11:02:33 PM

Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Dwyane Wade starred in another lopsided Heat victory in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinals series with Atlanta, recording 29 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and four blocks in a 107-78 thumping of the Hawks to take a 2-1 series lead.

After hitting 15 three-pointers in its 108-93 victory in Game 2, Miami made 12-of-23 from behind the arc on Saturday, including a 3-for-3 effort for James Jones, who finished with 11 points.

"They have been taking it to us. They have been making open jumpers. There are no more excuses. We have to pick up the intensity," Hawks forward Al Horford said.

The frontcourt combo of Jermaine O'Neal and Udonis Haslem each stepped up with double-doubles, with O'Neal posting 22 points and 10 rebounds and Haslem chipping in 12 and 13 for Miami, which held Atlanta to a 36.7 percent clip from the field and won the rebounding battle, 48-35.

Miami also set a franchise playoff record for blocks with 12.

Horford and Mike Bibby each logged 13 points for the Hawks, who have not looked the same since blowing out the Heat, 90-64, in Game 1. Josh Smith was held scoreless for nearly 2 1/2 quarters, finishing with 13 points and a team- high eight rebounds in the setback.

"I had a lot of shot opportunities that went in and out for me, which is very frustrating," Smith said. "I wasn't consistent like I was in the previous two games."

Atlanta was without versatile forward Marvin Williams, who injured his wrist in Game 2. His status for the remainder of the series is up in the air.

Game 4 is set for Monday in Miami.

Miami rode the momentum of the raucous, black-attired crowd in the early stages of the game, as Wade's three yielded a 9-2 lead just four minutes in.

"The run at the beginning of the game was very important to come out and establish home court," Wade said. "We knew there was going to be a lot of energy [at American Airlines Arena], so we played off that early."

A 9-0 run later on capped by a Mario Chalmers' trey made it a 14-point game and the margin was 22-12 after the opening stanza.

The Hawks were within nine late in the half, but Wade completely took over, scoring 10 points on a 12-0 Miami flurry to end the half, highlighted by a thunderous dunk over Horford while being fouled.

The visitors were down 50-29 at halftime and chipped away at the deficit with a 9-0 run capped by a Maurice Evans three with under four minutes to go.

Horford's dunk late in the half pulled Atlanta within 72-61, but Jones' make from behind the arc just before the buzzer pumped the lead back to 14.

The Heat ended any chance of a Hawks comeback by scoring 10 of the first 11 points of the fourth, as Wade's finger roll yielded an 85-62 cushion that was never seriously threatened.

Game Notes: Atlanta has not won a road playoff game in nearly 12 years, dropping 12 straight postseason contests as the visitor...These two teams have met in the postseason one time previously and the Hawks won that set, 3-2, in 1994...Chalmers ended with 15 points and four steals...Miami was 19-for-19 from the free throw line, a new franchise playoff record...It was Hawks' lowest scoring first half in their playoff history.