Final

Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 11/30

Game 1: Wednesday, November 30th
Heat96Final
Hawks74
Game 2: Tuesday, December 20th
Hawks92Final
Heat111
Game 3: Saturday, March 4th
Hawks93Final
Heat95
Game 4: Tuesday, April 18th
Heat100Final
Hawks103

Hawks 92

(6-18, 2-12 away)

Heat 111

(15-11, 9-3 home)

Coverage: FSS

7:30 PM ET, December 20, 2005

AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL

1 2 3 4 T
ATL 9 26 25 3292
MIA 21 35 36 19111

Top Performers

Atl: M. Williams 26 Pts, 7 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl

Mia: S. O'Neal 28 Pts, 10 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Blk

Shaq leads Miami to victory in Riley's home re-opener

MIAMI (AP) -- Pat Riley didn't want a homecoming party. Shaquille O'Neal gave him one anyway.

O'Neal hit his first eight shots and finished with 28 points in only 24 minutes, and the Miami Heat beat the Atlanta Hawks 111-92 Tuesday night in Riley's first home game since replacing Stan Van Gundy as coach.

It was Miami's second-biggest home win of the season; the Heat had outscored opponents in their first 11 home games by an average of only four points.

"I hope that tonight is kind of the start of an attitude that we'll take here at home, especially at home, where we're not going to have close games or we're going to make sure that we're going to win a lot of games here at home," Riley said. "Because the road is treacherous."

Gary Payton and Gerald Fitch each added 15 points, Dwyane Wade shook off an early injury to score 14 and Antoine Walker had 13 for Miami, which is 4-1 under Riley.

"It's my job to make him look good," O'Neal said. "He's a very good looking man, so it's my job to keep him looking good."

O'Neal's perfect start wasn't terribly difficult -- he had six dunks and two layups in the opening half. He set the tone for Miami, which held Atlanta to a season-low nine points in the first quarter and built a 56-35 halftime lead on the way to beating the Hawks for the ninth straight time.

"They utilized him," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. "Not that Van Gundy didn't, but with Pat, he makes them go through Shaq and then play. And that's how it should be."

Marvin Williams had 17 of his career-high 26 points in the fourth quarter for Atlanta, which trailed by 38 points midway through the third quarter before trimming the deficit against Miami's reserves. Josh Childress had 14 points, Joe Johnson added 13 and Al Harrington had 12 for the Hawks, who fell to 2-12 on the road.

There was no special pregame tribute to commemorate Riley's first game back on the Heat sideline since April 13, 2003. Some fans gave a brief ovation when he was announced as the coach after Miami's starters were introduced, but that represented the only deviation from the norm -- which is what Riley preferred.

O'Neal went 13-for-15 from the field against Atlanta centers Zaza Pachulia and John Edwards -- both of whom yielded at least 60 pounds to the 12-time All-Star, who easily established position all night. He left the game with 4:56 left in the third quarter.

"Having him back healthy, you can't stop him," Edwards said. "He's huge, he's skilled, he moves very well. Everybody sees it. He's the most dominant player in the league."

The only drama came midway through the first quarter, when Wade was shaken up under the Heat basket and remained down for a couple of minutes. He said he was "smacked" in the eye and was taken to the locker room, but returned later in the quarter with no apparent distress. There was some swelling after the game.

"Coach told us to come in and play well on our home floor," Wade said. "Teams that you're supposed to beat, you've got to beat them. That's what we did tonight. At the same time, having a big lead and guys having the opportunity to rest was big also."

Harrington made a pair of free throws with 8:06 left in the half to cut Miami's lead to 26-17, but the Heat ended the half on a 30-18 run. O'Neal and Payton each had eight points in that burst, and Miami kept rolling in the third quarter.

Royal Ivey scored the first points of the second half on a jumper for Atlanta, which then allowed the Heat to run off 11 unanswered points to put the game away.

O'Neal had the final six points of that run, and with 9:08 left in the third, he was 11-for-12 from the floor for 23 points -- while Atlanta was 13-for-40 and had managed 37 points.

The Hawks outscored Miami 32-19 in the fourth.

Game notes


Atlanta's Tyronn Lue -- who's probably listed generously as 6-foot, 178 pounds on Atlanta's roster -- took a charge from Miami's 6-foot-8, 235-pound Udonis Haslem midway through the opening quarter. ... Miami hadn't led any game by more than 29 points this season. ... Atlanta's starters were outscored 66-34. ... The Heat were without C Alonzo Mourning (upper respiratory infection) and G Jason Williams (knee tendinitis). ... Marvin Williams had scored only 23 points in his last six games combined for the Hawks. ... Miami is auctioning off the jerseys Wade and O'Neal will wear against the Los Angeles Lakers on Christmas Day. Wade's jersey is already fetching $6,200 in the online bidding; O'Neal's $5,050.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
ATL
MIA
Points 92 111
FGM-FGA 33-79 (.418) 40-78 (.513)
3PM-3PA 2-11 (.182) 4-11 (.364)
FTM-FTA 24-34 (.706) 27-35 (.771)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-34 12-51
Assists 15 24
Turnovers 12 15
Steals 7 5
Blocks 3 5
Fast Break Points 8 11
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 29 (0/0) 30 (2/0)
Largest Lead 2 38

Top Performers

Atlanta
Miami
Marvin Williams Williams
Points: 26
Reb: 7
Ast: 2
Stl: 2
Blk: 0
Shaquille O'Neal O'Neal
Points: 28
Reb: 10
Ast: 4
Stl: 0
Blk: 2