ATLANTA (AP) - LeBron James scored 34 points and Miami held on for a 98-90 win over the Atlanta Hawks, who nearly rallied from a 20-point deficit while playing their backups against the Big Three in the fourth quarter Monday night.
Miami was looking to lock up the No. 2 seed in the East and played its starters all the way.
The Hawks went to a makeshift lineup for the final period and nearly pulled it off. The game turned ugly with 3½ minutes to go.
Atlanta's Zaza Pachulia powered inside for a basket. Zydrunas Ilgauskas took exception to the move and slammed the ball off Pachulia's back as he turned to head back down the court. Ilgauskas was ejected, and the Hawks hit the technical free throw to tie it at 88. But Miami outscored the Hawks 10-2 the rest of the way, with James Jones making two huge 3-pointers.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)