ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Hawks are doing what coach Mike Budenholzer expects of them defensively, and the effort is paying off.
That much was evident all night as the Hawks never trailed.
“We were getting stops, we were getting out and were able to run,” Budenholzer said. “We got some easy baskets and some good looks. It started with our defense in the first quarter.”
Paul Millsap and Al Horford each scored 19 points to help the Atlanta Hawks get their fourth straight win, beating the Miami Heat 114-103 Friday night.
With star guard Dwyane Wade hobbled by a strained left hamstring and unable to play, the Heat were down by 19 late in the fourth quarter.
Eight players, including all five starters, scored in double figures for Atlanta.
Mario Chalmers finished with 23 points and a game-high 11 assists, Shawne Williams scored 21 points and Chris Bosh 20 as Miami lost its second straight.
Bosh is trying to avoid feeling despondent over the Heat’s defensive struggles. He indicated there’s been a breakdown in communication on the floor.
“I guess it’s a process,” Bosh said. “That’s what I keep telling myself to keep myself sane, but eventually we’re going to have to turn the corner.”
Teague had 16 points and nine assists for Atlanta. Kyle Korver, Thabo Sefolosha and Shelvin Mack each added 12 points, Mike Scott scored 11 and Dennis Schroder 10.
Luol Deng hit a 3 for Miami to make it a four-point game late in the third, but the Heat trailing by 12 midway through the fourth, Chalmers and Udonis Haslem were called for technical fouls on consecutive plays.
The Hawks scored seven points on their next two possessions to make it 104-85.
“We kept our focus down the stretch,” Millsap said. “Dennis was in the game at the time, and I think he did an excellent job tonight controlling the tempo. That’s what we need.”
The Heat missed nine of their first 12 shots to begin the game and trailed by 15 late in the first on Mack’s 3.
“While I understand we cut the lead and everything,” Bosh said, “I don’t know who we’re kidding if we’re going to play defense like that and then expect to stop them. We have no weak-side defense.”
Heat: Wade played in Miami’s first eight games this season, averaging 19.8 points, 6.4 assists and 3.5 rebounds. The 10-time All-Star was injured in Wednesday’s home loss to Indiana. He sat on the bench in a coat and tie. … James Ennis started in Wade’s spot, scoring one point in 6 minutes.
Hawks: F DeMarre Carroll, who averaged 12 points in Atlanta’s first six games, missed his second straight game with a strained groin. Sefolosha started in his spot. … General manager Danny Ferry, still serving an indefinite suspension for making racially charged remarks last summer about Deng before the start of free agency, was not in attendance as Deng scored 19 points.
Heat: Host Milwaukee on Sunday.
Hawks: At Cleveland on Saturday.
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