Heat rally past Hawks, 121-119 in OT

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 23, 2013 at 11:01 pm •  Published: December 23, 2013

MIAMI (AP) — A 13-0 run to start the game, that was too easy for the Miami Heat.

Down by seven with 90 seconds left in regulation, that's where they looked comfortable.

And down by three late in overtime, that's when the Heat finally decided to put things away.

LeBron James scored 38 points, Michael Beasley made two free throws with 9.2 seconds left to put Miami up for good, and the Heat beat the Atlanta Hawks 121-119 in overtime on Monday night — topping the Hawks for the ninth straight time.

"Obviously, after going through what we experienced last year in The Finals, it's never over," James said. "So we just keep fighting until the end, and we were able to force overtime."

It didn't have the down-five, 28.2-seconds-left feel that Game 6 against San Antonio had in last June's title series.

But there was much drama, much to the chagrin of Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer, an assistant on that Spurs club.

"They made a few big plays down the stretch and you've got to give them credit," Budenholzer said.

Jeff Teague scored 26 points, Paul Millsap made seven 3-pointers on the way to a 25-point night, and Al Horford finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds for Atlanta. Kyle Korver scored 15 for the Hawks.

Korver put the Hawks up 107-100 with 1:40 left in regulation by connecting on a deep 3-pointer, a well-covered one at that. It came 20 seconds after the Heat temporarily lost Chris Bosh to a cut upper lip, courtesy of an elbow by Millsap on a drive.

From there, the Heat ignited.

James made a pair of 3-pointers, then a dunk with 14.4 seconds left in the fourth to get the Heat within one. And after seeing something in the Hawks' defense on the play where he got the slam, he approached Heat coach Erik Spoelstra with a tweak to a play that started with the Heat down three with 14 seconds left.

He adjusted Ray Allen's role on the play, and it worked. Allen got fouled by Atlanta's DeMarre Carroll while trying a 3-pointer with 8 seconds left in regulation, and needed all three free throws to tie the game.

Swish. Swish. Swish.

"I'm not even going to comment on it," Carroll said.

To overtime they went, and the Hawks were up three with 1:21 left after a score by Horford. Miami scored the game's final five points, with Chris Andersen getting three of them, plus snuffing out a lob that Atlanta threw to Korver at the rim down by one in the final seconds.

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