Heat Cruise Against Atlanta

Miami looks effortless in 106-85 win

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 25: LeBron James #6, Dwyane Wade #3 and Chris Bosh #1 of the Miami Heat talk during a game against the Washington Wizards at American Airlines Arena on February 25, 2011 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

    Coming off a lackluster Wednesday performance against Oklahoma City, Miami regained its mojo Friday night, easily dispatching the Atlanta Hawks 106-85 on the road.

    Behind a 43-point explosion from LeBron James, Miami scored seemingly at will the entire night.

    Miami sprinted to a 50-37 first half lead. James shot 8-of-8 for 20 points, while Miami held Atlanta to 41% shooting in the first half. By halftime, the Heat's Big Three had outscored Atlanta's entire team by a point.

    The Heat extended their lead to 31 midway through the early third quarter, going on a 20-1 run to take away any hope Atlanta had of coming back. The pulled so far ahead that Eddie House, Juwan Howard, and James Jones got playing time.

    Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade were the only other Heat players in double figures, scoring 17 and 14, respectively. Miami held Atlanta to 44% shooting overall, but Atlanta did not help themselves by shooting only 12-of-22 from the free throw line.

    Miami hosts the Denver Nuggets Saturday night before hitting a soft spot in their schedule, playing 9 of their final 12 games against losing teams.

    They will still need help to catch up with the Bulls and Celtics, but they are within striking distance of the top seed in the Eastern Conference with the playoffs looming.

    David Hill is a Miami native and former owner of a youth replica Rony Seikaly jersey.