ATLANTA (AP) - The Atlanta Hawks didn’t talk about ending their nine-game losing streak against Miami.
The Hawks only wanted to make up for the last loss in the streak - an overtime defeat in Miami last month.
“To us, this was a get-back game,” said Atlanta’s Lou Williams, who had 12 points. “We felt we should have won the last one in Miami that we lost in overtime.”
James blamed poor defense for Miami’s fourth loss in its last six games.
“We scored enough points to win, so obviously it was defense,” James said. “Especially in the first half.”
The Hawks led 71-70 at halftime.
DeMarre Carroll finished with 19 points and Pero Antic had 17 for the Hawks, who beat Miami for the first time since Jan 2, 2012. It was Atlanta’s first home win over the Heat since Nov. 18, 2009.
The Hawks have been rebuilt under second-year general manager Danny Ferry and first-year coach Mike Budenholzer. Most Atlanta players said they had no idea the Hawks had gone so long without beating the Heat.
“Anytime you play Miami or any great team, you want to step up and play your best,” Millsap said. “I think that’s what we did today.”
Chris Bosh had 21 points for Miami, which was without Dwyane Wade for the second straight game.
The Hawks set a season high for points in a half and points allowed by a Miami opponent in a half.
The Heat trailed despite matching their season high for points in a half. It was only the second time in Miami’s franchise history both teams had at least 70 points in a half.
“I can’t just pinpoint what it is,” James said of the defensive woes. “It’s a little bit of everything. At some point we’ve got to figure it out. It’s just not good basketball right now.”