“We’ve got to bring this every game,” said Heat forward Gerald Green, who scored 20 points against the Hawks in a 100-88 Heat win. “When the season ends, we want to be competing for a world championship.” Star Heat guard Dwyane Wade hinted early in the season that the Heat could compete at a high level, but that promise has looked gimlet-eyed as the team has played .500 ball over the last ten games. Still, the Heat are 14-9 . And when they win games like this — on the road at Atlanta with Wade scoring just 7 points on 3-of-16 shooting — they do look like contenders. Teams that contend all do two things: first, find offensive contributors beyond their first options when they need them. Two: contenders lock down on defense, which the Heat has shown it can do.
Chris Bosh led a balanced attack with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Luol Deng had 18 points and nine rebounds. Goran Dragic had seven rebounds and eight assists to go with 12 points as the Heat won each of the first three quarters. Hassan Whiteside had 13 rebounds and 3 blocks for the Heat.