NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, January 4th (All times eastern)
Atlanta Hawks (21-11) at Miami Heat (16-15), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Atlanta Hawks hope to get back on the winning track Monday when they visit the Miami Heat in a Southeast Division showdown.
The Hawks, who are 2 1/2 games behind Orlando for the division lead, are coming off their third straight loss, a tough 112-108 overtime setback to the New York Knicks in Atlanta on Friday.
Nate Robinson, in his first game since December 1st, single-handedly carried the Knicks with 41 points, totaling a combined 25 in the fourth quarter and overtime as New York pulled out the victory.
Robinson averaged just 22 minutes of playing time in his first 12 contests this season before being benched by head coach Mike D'Antoni. Out of nowhere, the 5-foot-9 guard came off the bench Friday and continually maneuvered his way into the lane en route to an 18-for-24 shooting effort to go with eight assists and six rebounds in the win.
Joe Johnson paced Atlanta with 28 points as the club dropped three straight games for the first time this season. Al Horford and Josh Smith each recorded double-doubles, with the former logging 22 points and 19 rebounds and the latter adding 24 and 10.
"We've had a couple of frustrating losses," Atlanta's Maurice Evans said. "This was definitely self-inflicted, but you've got to give [New York] credit. They fought adversity and made plays when it counted."
The Heat, meanwhile, are also coming off a third straight defeat, a 107-97 loss to Charlotte in Miami on Saturday. Stephen Jackson poured in 35 points and grabbed eight rebounds, as the Bobcats picked up just their second road win of the season in that one.
Dwyane Wade scored 29 points and dished out 11 assists to pace the Heat, who have dropped the three in a row following a three-game winning streak. Quentin Richardson ended with 20 points and five rebounds while Michael Beasley tallied 14 and six for Miami, which opened a three-game homestand on Saturday.
"It was a difficult and disappointing loss. Particularly with the energy and passion we started off the game with," Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra said. "We had the right mind frame against a very tough team that just keeps on coming and that's what they did. They stormed back in the second quarter and it became a grind out game. They just broke away in the fourth quarter."
The Hawks have taken three straight over Miami, including a 105-90 win in Atlanta on November 18.
01/04 10:31:21 ET