--Games like Monday's, when all the energy was on the side of the Heat from the start, illustrate why the Hawks can't seem to create any distance between themselves and the pack of teams chasing them in the standings."I didn't like the way we were playing," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. "It was obvious from the (first half) stat sheet. We had 15 turnovers and three assists. We were so selfish and it didn't get much better to start the third quarter. Fortunately for us they were turning it over as well.
"Luckily, we were able to get back in the game, but we just didn't have the juice coming down the stretch."
After closing to within seven points twice early in the fourth quarter, Heat superstar Dwyane Wade pushed his team back on top by scoring 10 of his game-high 35 points in the final nine minutes.
The Heat stretched that lead back to 18 points in the final minute, escaping the danger by allowing the Hawks to dig yet another hole with their own mistakes.
"We've been doing this to ourselves," said Johnson, who led the Hawks with 19 points on 7-for-15 shooting from the floor. "You expend all the energy we did to get back in a game that you're down 21 or 22 points, you're not going to have it at the end. Good teams just aren't going to allow you to come back like that."
--C Al Horford's rapid recovery from a bone bruise in his right knee has taken dramatic turns in just the last week.
But he's still aiming for a return to action around the middle of next week and not any earlier.
"I'm doing things now that I couldn't do a week ago," the Hawks center said before Monday's game against Miami at American Airlines Arena. "Just shooting the ball and just doing some light running. The last thing is to get back to jumping off my leg. Once I do that I'll be ready to go."
When that is has been debated intensely over the past few days. Hawks coach Mike Woodson didn't think Horford would make the trip here and to New York, for a game Wednesday against the Knicks.
Horford was the first player on the Hawks' charter flight after Sunday's home loss to Phoenix.
Rather than staying back in Atlanta to continue to his rehab, Woodson said the Hawks' training staff wanted Horford with them so they could continue some "high-level" work that Horford's been doing with Hawks' assistant coach for player performance Pete Radulovic.
"We've waited this long," Woodson said. "I think it's only fair that we give him some time work in practice. And we'll have Sunday, Monday and Tuesday before we take off for the Minnesota game (Feb. 4). Now that's my thinking. He could try and change my mind before then. But I'm not listening."
Horford, who has already missed nine straight games, said he's ready to go whenever he's allowed back on the floor.
"I'm anxious to get back playing," Horford said. "And they keep telling me I have to be good. All I know is when I come back, I want to be back for good."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It makes no sense. We have to figure this out, though, because we can't keep going like this. It can't keep happening like this. We have to stick together through times like this." -- Marvin Williams on the Hawks' need to bounce back from their latest tailspin.