Hawks 121, Heat 114
ATLANTA -- The defending champion Miami Heat reached the midway point of the season and are not playing their best basketball, especially defensively. The Atlanta Hawks took advantage.
Forward Paul Millsap scored 26 points and helped the Hawks end a nine-game losing streak to the Heat with a 121-114 win on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at Philips Arena.
The Hawks led from the opening tip and answered a fourth-quarter rally by forward LeBron James and the Heat.
Forced to carry more of the offensive load with guard Dwyane Wade out, James hit back-to-back 3-pointers from the right wing to give the Heat their first lead, 107-104, with 6:15 to play. The Heat made 15 3-pointers overall. James had a game-high 30 points on 21 shots from the field.
But on the next possession, Hawks guard Kyle Korver found himself wide open in the corner and knocked down his third 3-pointer of the game. Korver has made with at least one 3-pointer in an NBA-record 109 games.
It was the Hawks' first game since returning from London, but there was no sluggish start. After Millsap converted a 3-point play on a tumbling basket and free throw, the Hawks led by eight five minutes into the game.
The Heat, who were wrapping up an up-and-down six-game road trip, answered with a barrage of 3-pointers, including a corner 3 from James that gave the Heat a 24-23 lead with 3:11 to play. Miami hit five 3-pointers in the first quarter but still trailed 34-31.
Miami fell to 29-11 at the halfway point of the regular season and own the second-best record in the Eastern Conference behind the Indiana Pacers. The Heat were 28-13 at this point last season.
The Hawks (21-19) improved to 15-6 at home this season, thanks in part to their bench. Atlanta reserves outscored the Heat's bench 45-21. Forward DeMarre Carroll had 19 points and rookie center Pero Antic added 17 for the Hawks.
Wade missed his third straight game, resting his ailing knee. Forward Chris Bosh added 21 for the Heat.
NOTES: Atlanta F Paul Millsap missed a free throw late in the second quarter, snapping the Hawks' streak of 31 made free throws in a row. The Hawks made all 22 free throws in their 127-110 loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday in London. It was the third time this season that Atlanta did not miss a free throw in a game. ... Miami PG Toney Douglas, who was acquired in a three-way trade with the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics, was inactive. He is expected to join the team on Tuesday against the Boston Celtics. Douglas will add depth to the Heat backcourt, behind guards Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole. ... Miami hit 11 3-pointers in the first half. ... Voting for the NBA All-Star Game ended Monday night. The All-Star Game will be played Feb. 16 in New Orleans.
Distributed by Internet Broadcasting and The Sports Xchange. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.