* CANNY PREDICTION: Don't count Hawks swingman Mo Evans among the people surprised to see both Dwyane Wade and LeBron James playing at supernatural levels. He saw it coming during the Olympics, when Wade and James helped the U.S. team win the gold medal.
But he's also seen another development for the two sixth-year stars that has helped elevate their games.
"They're two of the true superstars that are capable of empowering their teammates to play at a higher level," Evans said of Wade, whom the Hawks faced Friday night, and James, whom the Hawks will see tonight. "When one of their guys misses a shot they don't jump them --- they're the first ones over there encouraging them to shoot it again and hit the next one. They've got their other guys feeling like they need them."
* BATTLE FOR SECOND: Friday night's game turned out to be for sole possession --- temporarily, at least --- of second place in the Southeast Division behind Orlando.
The added importance meant both teams, 12-9 before the game started, were keeping an eye on each other.
"We've looked at it," said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. "We've been following them on their Texas swing. This is an important time for us. It's not the end-all be-all obviously, but we wanted to really focus in on what we're doing and try to sharpen up some things.
"But naturally, this is a big game and it's an opportunity to take a step forward."
* SO MUCH FOR THE DAY OFF: The day between games allowed the Hawks to practice and "clean up" some things, coach Mike Woodson said.
You couldn't tell by the way his team played early. The Heat opened the game with 11 unanswered points, but the Hawks dug out of the hole. The score was tied at 32 with just under five minutes to play before halftime.