Miami Heat can’t stop host Atlanta
The Miami Heat struggled on defense in a 121-114 loss to Atlanta. The two-time defending champions have lost four of their last six games.
The Associated Press
ATLANTA – The Atlanta Hawks didn’t talk about ending their nine-game losing streak against Miami.
The Hawks only wanted to make up for the last loss in the streak — an overtime defeat in Miami last month.
Paul Millsap scored 26 points and the Hawks overcame LeBron James’ 30 to beat the Heat 121-114 on Monday night, leaving Miami to bemoan its defensive woes.
“To us, this was a get-back game,” said Atlanta’s Lou Williams, who had 12 points.
James blamed poor defense for Miami’s fourth loss in its last six games.
“We scored enough points to win, so obviously it was defense,” James said. “Especially in the first half.”
The Hawks led the two-time defending champions 71-70 at halftime.
Chris Bosh had 21 points for Miami, which was without guard Dwyane Wade — who has sore knees — for the second straight game.
“We’re not a defensive team right now,” Bosh said. “We didn’t deserve to win today.”
The Hawks set a season high for points in a half and points allowed by a Miami opponent in a half.
“I can’t just pinpoint what it is,” James said of the defensive woes. “It’s a little bit of everything. At some point, we’ve got to figure it out. It’s just not good basketball right now.”
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said the defensive problems were “all across the board, A through Z.
“There just wasn’t a lot of pride on that side of the court tonight. We tried to win it on a shootout and then when our offense came up dry on the road toward the end, a couple missed shots and turnovers, we weren’t able to secure a win.”
The Hawks beat Miami for the first time since Jan 2, 2012. It was Atlanta’s first home victory over the Heat since Nov. 18, 2009.
HOUSTON – Chandler Parsons scored a season-high 31 points and Dwight Howard added 24 to help Houston beat Portland 126-113, snapping the Trail Blazers’ winning streak at five.
James Harden scored 22 points for the Rockets.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 27 points and 20 rebounds for the Blazers, who have won seven of their last 11 games.
A 7-0 Portland run cut Houston’s lead to six, but the Rockets scored the next seven points to extend the lead to 93-80.
“They made a run in the third quarter and instead of us complaining, we got to the bench and we talked about what we needed to do and we got a good win against a very, very good team,” Howard said.
• Joe Johnson scored 25 points and visiting Brooklyn beat the Knicks 103-80, evening this season’s New York rivalry at a game apiece.
The Nets improved to 7-1 this year and the Knicks have lost four in a row.
Carmelo Anthony had 26 points and 12 rebounds for New York.
• Taj Gibson made a layup at the buzzer in overtime, lifting host Chicago to a 102-100 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Bulls have won eight of their last 10.
Nick Young scored 31 for the Lakers.
• DeAndre Jordan had 16 points and 21 rebounds to help the Los Angeles Clippers beat host Detroit 112-103.
Rodney Stuckey, a former standout for Eastern Washington and Kentwood High in Covington, had 29 points for the Pistons.
• Paul George scored 23 points, Roy Hibbert had 14 points and 13 rebounds and the Indiana Pacers beat host Golden State 102-94. The league-leading Pacers (33-7) have won five in a row.
Stephen Curry had 24 points and nine assists for the Warriors.