MIAMI (AP) — Goran Dragic scored 27 points, Dion Waiters added 20 and the Miami Heat pushed the NBA’s longest current winning streak to nine games by easing past the Atlanta Hawks 116-93 on Wednesday night.
Hassan Whiteside scored 18 points and grabbed 18 rebounds for the Heat, who hadn’t won nine straight since November 2013. James Johnson scored 16 before getting ejected in the fourth quarter for Miami (20-30).
Kent Bazemore scored 14 and Dennis Schroder scored 12 for the Hawks (28-21).
Atlanta’s Taurean Prince was ejected midway through the fourth quarter for pulling Whiteside down from behind and being assessed a flagrant-2. James Johnson retaliated in Whiteside’s defense, and was ejected after getting a technical.
That was about the only moment in which the game was competitive after halftime. The 23-point margin of victory matched Miami’s best this season.
Atlanta was 2-0 against Miami this season, but those games were early on — long before the Heat got on this run. It ties San Antonio for the third-best streak in the NBA this season, with only Golden State (12) and Houston (10) having more consecutive wins.
But this one was over early. Miami’s lead at the half was 62-47, and the Heat were never threatened after intermission.
Hawks: Atlanta outscored Miami 108-72 in the paint in the first two meetings between the clubs. The Hawks were outscored 54-36 in the paint Wednesday. … Dwight Howard (six points, 11 rebounds) saw his string of five consecutive double-doubles end. … Atlanta had 13 assists, to Miami’s 23.
Heat: Miami led by as many as 26. … Dragic has drawn fouls on four 3-point attempts in his last three games. … Atlanta’s Paul Millsap drew a technical at the end of the first half, so Dragic took and made the subsequent free throw — 15 minutes later. He then made a 3-pointer on the same possession. … Waiters has at least 17 points in each of his last seven games.
With the Hawks going to Houston on Thursday, it should mark Howard’s first time playing there as an opponent since Dec. 4, 2012. Howard spent the last three seasons with the Rockets, averaging 16 points and 11.7 rebounds. He signed a three-year, $70.5 million deal with the Hawks last summer.
Whiteside’s 10th rebound was No. 2,000 of his career. He also had two blocks, leaving him one shy of No. 500 there.
Hawks: Visit Houston on Thursday, ending a quick two-game trip.
Heat: Host Philadelphia on Saturday, the finale of a four-game homestand.
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