The Miami Heat defeated the Atlanta Hawks 121-119 at American Airlines Arena in Miami. The Heat improved to 21-6, and the Hawks fell to 15-13.
LeBron James scored 38 points, collected eight rebounds, and dished out six assists as the Heat won in overtime. Down the stretch, James hit two threes and a monster dunk to help the Heat eliminate a 109-101 deficit with 1:30 left in regulation.
In addition to James’ masterful performance, free throw shooting proved crucial for the Heat. Ray Allen was fouled shooting a three with the Heat down 113-110, and made each free throw to tie the game with eight seconds to go in regulation. In overtime, Michael Beasley hit two free throws to give the Heat a one point lead with nine seconds on the clock. On the ensuing possession, the Hawks failed to score, and Miami power forward Chris Andersen secured the rebound, virtually ending the game.
Heat top performers: Lebron James (see above). Ray Allen scored 19 points and grabbed six boards. Mario Chalmers finished with 12 points and four assists. Chris Andersen scored 12 points and collected nine rebounds.
Next game: The Heat travel to Los Angeles to play the Lakers on Christmas Day at 5 pm ET on ABC. The Hawks travel to Cleveland to take on the Cavs at 7 pm ET on Thursday.