James has 24, streaking Heat beat Hawks 103-90

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James has 24, streaking Heat beat Hawks 103-90

ATLANTA (AP) – The Miami Heat turned to two veterans off the bench to spark a dramatic fourth-quarter turnaround that kept their longest winning streak of the season alive.

Ray Allen and Shane Battier combined for 24 points in the fourth quarter, and the Heat scored the first 13 points of the period to erase Atlanta’s 10-point lead and beat the Hawks 103-90 on Wednesday night for their eighth straight win.

LeBron James had 24 points. Miami outscored Atlanta 40-17 in the final period as Allen and Battier combined for five 3-pointers.

”Ray has proven that he has been one of the elite fourth-quarter players in the league for a long time,” said Miami coach Erik Spoelstra. ”If you leave him open in the fourth you’re going to hear the groans from the crowd like tonight.”

Dwyane Wade scored 20 points, Battier had 17 and Allen had 15.

James had 11 assists and six rebounds but could not extend his franchise-record streak of seven straight games with at least 30 points.

Miami trailed 73-63 entering the final period.

”We don’t win games in 12, 24 minutes, 36 minutes,” James said. ”We’ve got to take 48 minutes. It was a good test for us coming out of the break.

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By CHARLES ODUM

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