Atlanta gained the tip-off with height, speed and fast ball movement but failed to capitalize on that play giving Mario Chalmers # 15 a chance to hit 2. Chalmer’s first basket was followed by another steal by Chalmers to Dwyane Wade # 3 then to LeBron James # 6, but a foul on his leap to the rim left a Hawk on the floor. The Heat went on to gain a 5-point lead (8-13). A long bom intended for LeBron finds LeBron on the floor. It nearly gets picked off, but from the floor LeBron gets the ball to Wade who gets the job done (8-17). Atlanta races to the other end only to face Haslem who puts a stop to that by drawing a charge. Haslem’s 7th rebound in 8 minutes allows Ray Allen to hit a triple (10-22). Kevin Harris # 34 is speedy but not fast enough, ding-dong, the time is gone – shot clock runs out.
In Q2 the Hawks catch up (28-28), but D. Wade takes back the Heat’s lead with 2 (28-30), then comes Anderson # 11 Birdman with his backwards dunk. Wade makes a nice move switching the ball from his right to his left hand as his arm swings around to avoid a Hawk in his path, then he takes it to the rim (33-37). Wow. Bosh blocks, “You are not getting pass this point,” so the Hawks shoot from a distance hitting not one but two triples (38-39). They are trying to catch up. A steal by Wade sends him on a race down the speedway but a Hawk meets LeBron at the rim (38-41). Josh Smith climbs up the ladder over LeBron for 2. Hawks stopped Wade under the rim but the ball goes out to Chalmers who hits 3. “Hawks probably wish they hadn’t stopped Wade on that shot” (40-44). LeBron runs pass Chalmers and does a drive-by to grab the ball from Chalmers then takes it up with perfect timing to secure the Heat’s lead (40-48). Chalmers comes back with a triple (40-51, Q2 2:22). Atlanta, all over Bosh, forces a shot clock violation (42-51).
Udonis Haslem gets his 10th rebound. Bosh over Anthony Tolliver # 4 gives Miami an 11-point lead (44-55). At the other end, Smith fouls Bosh giving Bosh 2 at the line with a tenth of a second before half-time. Ouch, that hurts. Heat goes into the locker room up 44-57.
Q3 Dahntay Jones does a drive by to take the ball away from LeBron (48-59), “Hey, where’s the ball?” That play got away from the Heat not sure what happened (50-59), then the ball gets away from the Hawks and goes into the stands. “Take it away from me, Lord, take it away…” Chalmers takes the ball away (50-61). Then D Wade takes it away from Dahntay Jones # 30. Jeff Teague #0 hits a triple to cut the Heat’s lead. But never fear, LeBron is here. LeBron runs right through the middle of “Hawkland” to score. Then Bosh hits a 20 footer (56-67). Chalmers comes back with 3 (56-70). Ray Allen cleans up at the rim (60-74). With high intensity, Chalmers forces a turnover then races down the court with the goods. Before he makes it to Grandma’s house he gets ambushed in the paint. The ball is gone. LeBron’s sharp basketball IQ gives him the ability to expect a pass down the lane. He races out of nowhere to grab a steal then gets the ball to Birdman, wide open under the rim. Who could have seen that coming?
Going into Q4, LeBron gets up there and blocks a ball headed towards the rim. What, no point? Shucks. That was a clean block. Okay, team, find another way. Anderson steals 67-82 but the Hawks refuse to let him get near the rim. Not out of options, Birdman forces a stop at the other end with a block that Ray Allen knocks to D Wade to finish. “Don’t leave, the game is not over yet.” A run-away train with another Wade/Cole duo down the court (67-89).
Birdman, Anderson # 11 falls over the back of Mike Scott #32. Anderson hits the floor hard but gets up unmoved. Scott didn’t hit the floor so why is he shaken up (68-89)? Good fake Scott. Anyway, while Birdman was down, the Hawks got away with a clear path to the rim (70-89). The Norris “Code” sends the ball to Wade but a pump fake is necessary to get it in. Heat is up 22 with 6 minutes left (70-92). But, that lead quickly drops to 14 (78-92). LeBron sits relaxed on the bench. Hey guys this game is not over. There are 3 minutes left. Anything can happen. 80-94 2:13 Joel Anthony # 50 gives a quick jump to the rim. Then Anthony comes back with another shot. “You go, Joel.” Heat has the ball, there are 23 seconds left to play, the score is 81-98. Heat gets past center court, then stops. “Hey, why are you stopping with the ball, the time is running out, shoot the ball. Can’t you see the score is only 98. Take it to 100. Why are you stopping? Move it, move it. “You’re causing me a break-down. What about the stats, get the score over 100. Oh my God, who cares if you miss and they get another shot. It’s not like another point for the Hawks will make a difference. Don’t throw away time. At least try to get the score over 100. Not getting the Heat score to 100, messes up the stats. You’re breaking my heart. Somebody teach them to play ball.