ATLANTA -- The warning was issued.
The Hawks could not afford to pay so much attention to the Big Three of the Heat that they forgot about Miami's supporting cast. Enter Shane Battier and Ray Allen. The duo combined to score 24 fourth-quarter points as the Heat erased a 10-point deficit in a 103-90 victory Wednesday night in what could be Josh Smith's final game as an Atlanta Hawk.
Battier hit three fourth-quarter three-pointers and Allen two more in the decisive period. The Heat went on a 13-0 run to start the fourth quarter to completely erase the Hawks' advantage. When Allen hit a three-pointer with 3:14 remaining, the Heat had an 11-point lead. It would grow to as many as 14 points.
The Hawks (29-23) had their two-game winning streak snapped. They have now lost six straight to the Heat and seven in a row at Philips Arena.
Al Horford led the Hawks with 27 points. Smith, the subject of much trade speculation, had 10 points, nine rebounds and nine assists. Kyle Korver (10 points each) and Ivan Johnson were the Hawks' other double-digit scorers.
The Heat (37-14) won for the eighth straight time. LeBron James finished with 24 points and Dwyane Wade added 20. Chris Bosh, the other of the Heat's Big Three, had four points on 1 of 9 shooting.
The Hawks took a 10-point lead, 73-63, into the final quarter. They led by as many as 11 points in the period. Korver had nine points, on three 3-pointers, in the quarter. Two came sandwiched between baskets by Horford and Smith as part of a 10-0 run.
Korver hit a first-quarter 3-pointer to extend his franchise record streak to 46 straight games with a long-range basket.
The Hawks held a 49-45 halftime lead, erasing a nine-point second-quarter deficit. They went on a 20-5 run at the end of the second quarter to lead by six points. Only a James basket at the intermission buzzer snapped the run. The Hawks grabbed the lead despite 11 first-half turnovers.
Horford led the Hawks with 14 first-half points. Johnson added 10 points, eight coming in the second quarter. James had 18 first-half points for the Heat.
Smith remained a member of the Hawks hours before the trade deadline of 3 p.m. Thursday. The team has had trade conversations with other teams about the forward, who will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
Smith was in the starting lineup Wednesday, a sign that no trade was imminent.
"No," said when asked if he had any conversations with Hawks management or his representation in the previous day. "Like I said, I'm just trying to stay out of the way and focus on what is in front of me and not worry about anything else." Smith was asked if he would rather pursue a championship in Atlanta or somewhere else.
"I just want to win," Smith said. "It doesn't matter where." Coach Larry Drew said he has heard nothing new on a possible trade of Smith.
"No news to me," Drew said before the game. "I've been basically trying to focus on getting ready for Miami. (General manager) Danny Ferry is the guy who handles that so I will leave that in his hands." Ferry has declined to comment on the trade deadline or speculation involving Smith.
There was plenty of star power in the Philips Arena crowd with Falcons Matt Ryan, Roddy White and Julio Jones, rap stars Ludicris and Two Chainz, boxer Evander Holyfield and Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed all in attendance.
(c)2013 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.)
Visit The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.) at www.ajc.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services