Atlanta wins series 4-3 (Game 4 of 7)

Atlanta wins series 4-3

Game 1: Sunday, April 19th
Game 2: Wednesday, April 22nd
Game 3: Saturday, April 25th
Game 4: Monday, April 27th
Game 5: Wednesday, April 29th
Game 6: Friday, May 1st
Game 7: Sunday, May 3rd

Hawks 81

(47-35, 16-25 away)

Heat 71

(43-39, 28-13 home)

    Coverage: TNT

    8:00 PM ET, April 27, 2009

    AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL

    1 2 3 4 T
    ATL 24 22 17 1881
    MIA 17 25 13 1671

    Top Performers

    Atl: Z. Pachulia 12 Pts, 18 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl

    Mia: D. Wade 22 Pts, 6 Reb, 7 Ast, 1 Blk

    Hawks tie series at 2 with first road playoff win in nearly 12 years

    Associated Press

    MIAMI -- Zaza Pachulia's right eye was black, and his face was dotted with nicks and scrapes.

    "I look like Rocky Balboa," the Atlanta forward said.

    Fought like him, too.

    So did the rest of the Hawks, who finally showed they can take a punch on the road at playoff time.

    Fast Facts

    • The Hawks snapped their 12-game road losing streak in playoff action. This was Atlanta's first road playoff win since it won at Chicago in May of 1997.

    • Mike Bibby paced six Hawks in double figures with 15 points. Bibby hit all three of his 3-point attempts.

    • Dwyane Wade led the Heat with 22 points but shot just 9-of-26 from the field, including three airballs to open to the game.

    • The Heat trailed 44-23 late in second quarter before closing the half on 19-2 run, which was led by back-to-back four-point plays by James Jones. Jones is just the fifth player in the last 10 years to have two four-point plays in one game and is only the second to do so on back-to-back possessions.

    -- ESPN Stats & Information

    Mike Bibby scored 15 points, Pachulia had 12 points and 18 rebounds, and Atlanta frustrated an ailing Dwyane Wade endlessly to beat the Miami Heat 81-71 Monday night, tying the first-round Eastern Conference series at two games apiece.

    It was Atlanta's first road postseason win in nearly 12 years, a stretch spanning 13 games, and ended a slide where the Hawks got pounded by 132 points in their most recent five playoff games played away from home.

    "It's not over," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. "We've got to go home now. We survived this trip and we've got to go home and handle our business at home in Game 5."

    2009 NBA Playoffs

    Want an in-depth look at the playoffs? Check out all the matchups, analysis and opinion here:

    • Playoff pages

    That comes Wednesday, and all the Hawks need is to defend their home court twice to get a second-round shot against LeBron James and Cleveland.

    Joe Johnson added 14 and Josh Smith 13 for the Hawks.

    Wade scored 22 points, shooting 9-for-26 and wincing from back spasms that started at the morning shootaround, flared in the first quarter and continued from there. Jermaine O'Neal scored 20 points and James Jones added 19 -- 10 of them coming in a spectacular first-half spurt -- for the Heat, who shot 38 percent and never led.

    "I hope that everyone understands that this is the playoffs," Wade said. "This is how it's going to be. We've got to go up to Atlanta, in a hostile environment, and play the same way we've been playing."

    First, though, the Heat will see if Wade can get his back right.

    He was hurting so badly, Jones said, that "any other player probably would have sat out."

    "We didn't do a good job lifting him up tonight," Jones said.

    Knowing the Hawks would want no part of a 3-1 deficit, the Heat expected Atlanta's best shot.

    They got it.

    The Heat shot 5-for-23 in the first 21 minutes, digging a 21-point hole. At one point, Miami nearly had as many fouls (15) as points (19), Wade had four airballs (arguing he was fouled on two), and the Heat were unraveling.

    "He's still going to score points but we made him work on every play," said Hawks guard Flip Murray, who scored 11 points. "A total team effort. Every time he got past one guy, there was another guy there to contest."

    When Pachulia tipped in Murray's missed 3-pointer for a 44-23 lead, he looked at his teammates on the Atlanta bench and started punching the air.

    "Zaza was huge throughout the whole game," Woodson said. "I mean, 18 rebounds, 12 points for us, and we needed all that tonight to survive."

    Coincidentally, when Pachulia started punching, Miami started to fight.

    A 19-2 run closed the half, with Jones needing only 41 seconds to get 10 points -- the last eight coming in (probably) never-before-seen fashion, with a pair of four-point plays 11 seconds apart.

    The Heat sharpshooter made a 3-pointer with 2:26 remaining, got fouled by Solomon Jones and swished the free throw. Miami immediately got the ball back when Bibby ran over Mario Chalmers, and with 2:15 left, James Jones struck again.

    He connected from the left side, got fouled by Bibby, made that free throw as well and Miami clawed within 46-42 at halftime.

    Even the Elias Sports Bureau, which tracks nearly every stat imaginable, didn't know if anyone else had pulled off that feat as quickly as Jones. Others have made a pair of four-point plays in a game, including Gilbert Arenas, Michael Redd and Tracy McGrady.

    Longtime Heat assistant coach Keith Askins did it in an NCAA game for Alabama against Florida on March 12, 1989, his 4s coming 51 seconds apart.

    "It was crazy," Jones said. "The second time, I was kind of shocked."

    Either way, it was for naught. Atlanta's lead was never smaller than three after halftime, and the Hawks led by as many as 13 points in the final quarter.

    "This is the playoffs," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "We just have to focus the next 48 hours on getting healthy, getting our minds right, getting prepared and going up there and getting a game."

    Game notes

    The Heat granted reserve C Mark Blount a leave of absence to tend to personal matters related to the death of a close relative in Haiti. ... Seven players had two fouls before the game was 13 minutes old.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 81 71
    FGM-FGA 28-66 (.424) 23-61 (.377)
    3PM-3PA 5-14 (.357) 4-16 (.250)
    FTM-FTA 20-26 (.769) 21-28 (.750)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-40 7-33
    Assists 15 11
    Turnovers 15 14
    Steals 7 7
    Blocks 4 3
    Fast Break Points 15 4
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 25 (1/0) 27 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 21 0

    Top Performers

    Zaza Pachulia Pachulia
    Points: 12
    Reb: 18
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Dwyane Wade Wade
    Points: 22
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 7
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1