February 12, 2012 – By Scott
Last Thursday began a three-game losing skid for the Atlanta Hawks. But on Wednesday, they ended this funk with a 97-87 win against Indiana and followed that up with a 89-87 overtime win at Orlando on Friday.
Josh Smith turned his game up a notch in the two wins to pace the Hawks. Against Indiana, he poured in 28 points and had 12 rebounds. Against the Magic he had 23 points and 19 rebounds.
On Sunday night, Smith and his Hawks will be welcoming in another big challenge as they face the Miami Heat who have won 4 of their last 5.
The Heat (20-7) are coming off a 106-89 win over Washington on Friday, regrouping after their 102-89 loss to Orlando on Wednesday. Despite LeBron James being their leading scorer, Dwayne Wade has stepped up as of late and is averaging 28.3 points per game in their last three games.
Atlanta (18-9) has split their two meeting with Miami this season. They won their first matchup 100-92 at Miami and then fell in overtime at home 116-109.
The Heat bring in the second best scoring average in the NBA getting 102.9 points per game. James is leading his team in scoring getting 28.1 points per game and assists with 7.0 per game.
Miami will be challenged against a good Atlanta defense. For the year, the Hawks are giving up just 91.1 points per game which is 5th in the NBA.
Atlanta is led in scoring by Joe Johnson who is getting 18.4 points per game. As a team, they are averaging 95.8 per game and will face a Heat squad that gives up 95.4 points per game.
NBA Betting Lines have the Heat favored by 4 at the Hawks on Sunday night. The OVER/UNDER in points is set at 190.