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Heat-Hawks Preview

By JEFF BARTL

STATS Writer

(AP) -- Miami hasn't been at its best during a long road trip that finally comes to an end Monday night against Atlanta.

To the Hawks, that's further proof they can beat the Heat after nearly doing so last month.

Miami (29-11) dropped the first three of its six-game road trip before winning the last two, including a 104-96 overtime victory over Charlotte on Saturday. LeBron James hit 13 of 25 from the field - his second-most attempts of the season - and finished with 34 points, eight rebounds and six assists.

"The game presented itself for me to be aggressive and I was able to shoot a lot. It felt, well... that's why I'm icing my shoulder now," James said. "My teammates kept confidence in me and I was able to get it going."

Miami played without Dwyane Wade for the second time on the trip as he rested his nagging knee injury. Chris Anderson sat out his third straight with a bruised right knee.

It's unclear if either will play in this contest, the third in a four-games-in-five-nights stretch for the Heat.

"I saw some grit," coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Our guys were not happy at halftime and wanted to take a lot more pride in our defense. The second half there was more of a concentration - not only the effort but a discipline "

Chris Bosh added 25 points Saturday for the Heat, who have won nine straight meetings with the Hawks after a 121-119 overtime win Dec. 23. James scored 38 points - one off his season high - and Ray Allen made three free throws with eight seconds remaining in regulation to tie the score.

Wade sat out that meeting for Miami, which trailed by seven entering the fourth quarter. Paul Millsap scored 25 points and added 10 boards for Atlanta.

"We know we can beat them," Millsap said. "You've got to know you can beat a team like that. Hopefully we can get out there and execute and do it."

Atlanta (20-19), though, has lost five of seven after falling 127-110 to Brooklyn on Thursday in London. Mike Scott and Shelvin Mack scored 17 points apiece off the bench.

The Hawks haven't beaten Miami since Jan. 2, 2012, and they've also lost seven straight home meetings. The Heat won the first matchup this season 104-88 on Nov. 19 without Wade.

"They're beatable," Scott said. "In Miami (last month), we had the game right there. We made a few mental mistakes at the end and they got away with one."

Jeff Teague scored 26 points in the last contest with the Heat. Starting forward DeMarre Carroll, who didn't travel with the Hawks to London due to the birth of his first child, has scored eight points in each matchup with Miami this season.

"We have a little chip on our shoulder because we knew we had that game," Carroll said. "We've got to come out and compete on our home turf."

Atlanta has won seven of its last eight at Philips Arena and has won 14 of 19 games played there this season.

Updated January 19, 2014

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