• My Scores
  • NHL
  • NFL
  • NBA
  • Golf
  • NCAA BB
  • NCAA FB

Miami at Atlanta

LeBron drops 43 points as Heat dominate Hawks

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

ATLANTA -- Nothing personal, Heat fans, but LeBron James loves playing away from Miami.

Greeted by scattered boos from a sellout crowd following his trademark chalk clap at the scorer's table before the game, James just smiled. It was a reminder he was playing on the road, where he says he has his best games.

James scored 43 points, including 23 in a dominant third quarter, and the Heat beat the slumping Atlanta Hawks 106-85 on Friday night.

More on Heat at Hawks
Column
Ken Berger Ken Berger
The Fab Five polarized -- and revolutionized basketball More >>
Related links

When asked what led to his big game, James said: "Just the road."

"That's the similarity," he said. "All on the road. I enjoy being on the road, I enjoy playing against not only the opposing players but the opposing fans. It's fun."

James' season high was 51 points at Orlando on Feb. 3. He began the night averaging 27.2 points on the road and 25.0 in Miami.

James' dominance affected the game plans of both teams. Miami players saw early they should let James take control, and Atlanta players lost their focus and began shooting jump shots in an ill-fated attempt to keep pace.

"We got a little discouraged when LeBron was making all those shots," said Atlanta's Al Horford, who said his team "just kind of lost sight of going inside."

Chris Bosh had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Dwyane Wade had 14 points as Miami rolled to the runaway win in its first visit of the season to Atlanta.

James made 16 of 21 shots, including five 3-pointers. He outscored the Hawks 23-20 in the third quarter.

Even Wade was in awe.

"Every time he does it, you kind of don't know what to do," Wade said. "It's surreal."

Wade concluded his best course of action was to "get out of the way."

Added Heat coach Erik Spoelstra: "Sometimes you have to sit back and let those guys do that."

The Heat took the lead for good midway through the opening period and put the game away in such convincing fashion that James and the other starters sat out the final period.

Miami's starters took a big lead of 32 points before turning the game over to the backups.

Marvin Williams scored 15 points and Damien Wilkins had 14 for the Hawks, who have lost seven of 10. Atlanta's top scorer among its starting five was Horford, with only 11 points.

"We're struggling right now," Horford said. "We're really trying to find ourselves. ... We've had some good times, but we're going through a real rough patch right now."

James said he "absolutely" could see his big third quarter break the Hawks' will.

"You make backbreaking 3s and pull-up jumpers and things like that, you continue to get stops, you can see that you start to wear them down," James said.

James had half of Miami's points in leading the Heat to an 86-57 lead through three periods. James then put on his warmup suit and watched the final period from the bench.

James was 8 for 8 from the field in the first half, when he had 20 points. He was just getting started.

He made eight of 13 shots from the field in his 23-point third quarter. Incredibly, it wasn't his most productive 12 minutes of the season. James had 24 points in the third quarter at Cleveland on Dec. 2.

The Hawks went about 5½ minutes without a field goal in the third period as Miami turned the game into a rout with a procession of 3-pointers and three-point plays.

James and Wade each had two 3-pointers in a 12-0 Miami run. James then added a dynamic three-point play, scoring on a scoop over Jamal Crawford, who was called for the foul. James then took a long walk past the Atlanta bench, staring at the crowd of 20,024, before adding the free throw for a 73-42 lead.

The Hawks' frustrations grew with their deficit.

James hit two free throws with 1:51 remaining in the third quarter to give him 40 of Miami's 80 points. He complained after he was fouled by Zaza Pachulia late in the period. The officials then huddled and called a flagrant foul on Pachulia. James made both free throws as Hawks coach Larry Drew complained to the officials that they were giving James superstar treatment.

"The officials saw it one way, and I saw it another way," Drew said.

Pachulia drew a second technical with 49 seconds remaining after he was fouled by Joel Anthony and then gave Anthony a light push on his way to the free-throw line.

Mike Bibby, making his first return to Atlanta, received a warm ovation when he entered the game late in the opening period. Bibby was traded to Washington on Feb. 23 in the five-player deal that sent Kirk Hinrich to Atlanta. Bibby walked away from his contract to sign with Miami on March 2.

Bibby had two points.

Notes

  • Miami C Zydrunas Ilgauskas (right foot infection) was not with the team as he missed his fourth straight game. Spoelstra said Ilgauskas won't play when Miami plays a home game against Denver on Saturday.
  • The Hawks made only 4 of 10 free throws in the first half and 12 of 22 for the game.
  • James passed 17,000 points for his career, finishing the night with 17,012.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
LeBron James goes up for a shot and finishes with 43 points -- 23 in the third -- in the Heat's win over the Hawks. (AP)
LeBron James goes up for a shot and finishes with 43 points -- 23 in the third -- in the Heat's win over the Hawks. (AP)
Scoreboard
Miami (47-22) «25253620106
Atlanta (39-30)2116202885
MIA:L. James 43 Pts
MIA:C. Bosh 10 Reb
MIA:M. Bibby 6 Ast
ATL:M. Williams 15 Pts
ATL:J. Johnson 5 Reb
ATL:J. Teague 6 Ast
Players of the Game
MiamiAtlanta

LeBron James

Marvin Williams
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
43231530

Related Video

November 20, 2014
Matt Moore on Dwayne Wade (2:19)
November 19, 2014
Doug Gottlieb Show: Ken Berger talks Chris Bosh
(2:23)
December 18, 2014
Marcin Gortat on the Doug Gottlieb Show
(8:10)
December 18, 2014
NBA Expert Picks 12/18
(1:33)
Miami
C. Bosh, PF325-87-11104317
L. James, SF3116-216-723243
D. Wade, SG275-91-225314
M. Chalmers, PG170-30-03420
E. Dampier, C162-30-07024
M. Bibby, PG251-50-04622
M. Miller, SF241-21-14414
J. Jones, SF213-51-13109
J. Magloire, C172-20-09024
J. Anthony, C152-42-24046
J. Howard, PF81-51-22013
E. House, SG80-40-00110
Z. Ilgauskas, CDid Not Play
U. Haslem, PFDid Not Play
D. Pittman, CDid Not Play
Totals 38-7119-26502823106
 53.5%73.1% 
Atlanta
A. Horford, C295-91-231111
J. Johnson, SG284-81-35319
J. Smith, SF274-122-233210
K. Hinrich, PG252-70-11305
J. Collins, C120-10-01040
M. Williams, PF267-171-330215
J. Crawford, SG240-40-01110
Z. Pachulia, C231-34-45046
D. Wilkins, SG226-81-312214
J. Teague, PG175-92-216013
H. Armstrong, C81-10-23212
E. Thomas, CDid Not Play
J. Powell, PFDid Not Play
P. Sy, SFDid Not Play
Totals 35-7912-2227211885
 44.3%54.5% 
Other Games
Chi 108 Final
Ind 115
Den 82 Final
Orl 85
Wash 107 Final
Tor 116
NY 95 Final
Det 99
Char 82 Final
OKC 99
SA 97 Final
Dal 91
Bos 77 Final
Hou 93
NJ 95 Final
Mil 110
GS 97 Final
Pho 108
Phi 102 Final
Sac 80
Min 98 Final
LAL 106