--It always helps when your defense smothers the NBA scoring leader the way the Hawks did Wade. Michael Beasley was the only other Heat player to reach double-figures, and he scored 10 points on 5-for-15 shooting.The Hawks shared the ball incessantly, piling up 23 assists on 36 made shots. And they also pounded the Heat on the boards, building a 50-35 edge by game's end.
"It was everybody stepping up when we needed to step up," said Hawks center Al Horford, who finished with 14 points, nine rebounds and two blocks. "We talked all season about taking care of home and you saw it (Sunday night). That's the kind of total team effort we know it's going to take to keep playing.
"This is just one game, we realize that. There's still a lot of basketball to play. But that's the reason we wanted to start here, in front of our fans. And we wanted to make sure we did it right."
--Marvin Williams certainly got the memo that a fast start was needed. He scored seven straight points to help the Hawks get off to a good start.
Never mind that he played just twice in the Hawks' last 18 games. He missed 16 straight with a lower back injury that early on the Hawks thought might end his season.
Williams started Sunday night and didn't miss in his first five minutes. He scored seven points in 90 seconds, the first on a dunk on a fast break, then on a running jumper and then on a deep three-pointer, before giving way to Mo Evans for an early breather.
"It's the playoffs," Williams said with a smile in the locker room before the game. "You know I'm ready."
--Heat coach Erik Spoelstra pulled the first stunner of this series before opening tip Sunday night when he inserted veteran shooter James Jones into his starting lineup at small forward in place of Jamario Moon.
Jones managed just one other start all season, a Feb. 18 home loss to Minnesota.
--The Hawks had a last-minute roster shuffle of their own. Speedy Claxton and Othello Hunter replaced Randolph Morris and Thomas Gardner on the active list for Sunday's game.
Hawks coach Mike Woodson said both players "earned the right" to suit up in Game 1, but that he was keeping things fluid depending on how the series played out.
"We're really going to have to just see how things go," he said. "We don't know how things are going to go. That's the beauty of these playoff rosters, they can change every night depending on the matchups."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Josh Smith got a lot of lobs and fast-break dunks that helped with the energy in the building. When that happens, the game can get away from you pretty fast. When you miss as many shots as we did (Sunday night), the game can get away from you pretty quickly." -- Heat superstar Dwyane Wade, on his team's inability to contain Smith and to make shots consistently.