At some point, the Hawks will cool off. But that point wasn't Wednesday night.
It was Miami's turn to be fed into the Hawks' threshing machine, which chewed up the Heat with a determined defense on All-NBA guard Dwyane Wade and a furious second quarter that helped secure the Hawks' sixth win in a row, 105-90 over the Heat.
Over that span, the Hawks have won by 11 or more points five times and have held their opponent under 100 points in the past four games.
"I can't ask for anything better," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. "I couldn't be more proud of a group of guys that made a commitment when they came into camp this year."
Using what has become a familiar pattern --- solid defense, a multi-pronged transition game, and furious rebounding work --- the Hawks dominated the Heat, who entered the game 7-3.
Said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, "We have to develop some real toughness and resolve when we play teams like this on the road."
At 10-2, the Hawks have the best record in the East and are tied with Phoenix for the best record in the NBA.
The Hawks put on the jets in the second quarter, in which they outscored the Heat 34-20 and laid a 28-8 run on Miami over the second half of the quarter. That run was something of a showcase for forward Josh Smith, who subjected the Heat to 12 points, five rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block over the final seven minutes of the half, taking the Hawks from a 35-32 deficit to a 60-43 halftime lead.
Watching from the bench, rookie guard Jeff Teague was amazed.
"He plays so hard," Teague said. "The things he did on the floor, like blocking shots and rebounding and all of the things he doesn't get credit for, like taking charges and getting deflections and things like that ... I always try to pump him up when he comes off the floor to let him know that somebody's seeing what he's done and that we appreciate it."
Smith finished with 16 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists, his fourth double-double in five games. Frontcourt mate Al Horford registered his fourth double-double in six games with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Wade, who brought a scoring average of 28.9 points per game to Philips, finished with 15 points on 6-of-18 shooting. Principally defended by Johnson, Wade was met by the Hawks at every turn.
Johnson dropped 30 on Miami, including five 3-pointers. Matched against All-Stars Brandon Roy of Portland on Monday and Wade on Wednesday, Johnson outscored them 65-32. Wade had his streak of consecutive games with 20 or more points snapped at 23.
"When guys like Dwyane Wade and Kobe [Bryant] come to town, I definitely think he looks forward to it," said forward Marvin Williams, who tied his season-high with 14 points.
Next for Hawks
Who: vs. Rockets
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
TV; radio: SPSO; 790
Play Basketball Hot Streak and win prizes!