The Miami Heat overcame the absence of Dwyane Wade and LeBron James to beat the Atlanta Hawks 116-109 in triple overtime on Thursday, avenging their only loss of the season so far.
Wade missed his second consecutive game with a bruised left foot and was joined on the sidelines by James, who has a left ankle injury.
The Hawks had beaten the Heat 100-92 on Monday.
“This game was not defined at all by the box score or the numbers or any of the tangible things,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters. “It was defined by all the intangible, ‘X factor’ areas. It looked like a heavyweight fight at the end.”
The Heat led 54-49 at halftime and started quickly in the third quarter, building a 13-point lead, but were caught and passed by the Hawks, who closed the quarter on a 16-1 run to hold a 70-68 advantage.
Chris Bosh picked up the offensive slack in the absence of Wade and James for the Heat with 33 points, draining a three-pointer with less than a second left in regulation to level the score at 93-93 and send the game into overtime.
“It was a lucky shot,” Bosh said. “I saw Rio [Mario Chalmers] and he had a big guy on him. I just wanted to slip the screen, maybe confuse them a little bit and get myself to pop back behind the three [point-line]. I knew it was good as soon as I let it go.”
Chalmers scored 13 of his 29 points in overtime, including five in the third extra period where the Heat outscored Atlanta 7-0.
“It’s a tough loss because it was a fool’s gold type of game. They don’t have Wade, they don’t have LeBron,” said Hawks reserve guard Willie Green, who scored 14 points. “We can’t take the guys that they have lightly. We beat ourselves. Give credit to those guys, take nothing away from them, but I thought we just didn’t play with the sense of urgency that they did.”
Joe Johnson led the Hawks with 20 points, while Ivan Johnson was sensational off the bench for Atlanta, scoring 13 points all in the second half.
KINGS 103, BUCKS 100
In Sacramento, California, Tyreke Evans made four free throws in the final minute to finish with 26 points as Sacramento overcame a 21-point halftime deficit to stun Milwaukee hours after the Kings fired coach Paul Westphal.
Marcus Thornton scored 27 points, while DeMarcus Cousins finished with 19 points and 15 rebounds for the Kings, completing a stretch of three games in three nights at 1-2.
Brandon Jennings scored 31 points, while Drew Gooden had 18 and nine rebounds for the Bucks.
In other games, it was:
‧ Trail Blazers 107, Lakers 96
‧ Spurs 93, Mavericks 71