Thursday, April 23, 2009
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Gwinnett Daily Post
ATLANTA - emember how bad Dwyane Wade and his Miami teammates looked in Game 1 of the playoffs? They were that good in Game 2.
Wade scored 33 points, 13 straight to close the first half before he banked in a 3-pointer with 21/2 minutes left to finish off the Atlanta Hawks in a 108-93 victory Wednesday night that evened the series before it headed to south Florida.
After scoring only 19 points to open the best-of-seven series Sunday in a 90-64 blowout, Wade eclipsed his point total by halftime.
The Hawks should have known this wouldn't be their night when 'Spirit,' an actual hawk that flies down from the rafters during the pre-game introductions, decided to hang around for the start of the game. The game had to be halted for a couple of minutes when the fierce-looking bird landed on the top of the backboard; he finally flew to his handler and was led out of the building.
Turns out, the real hawk showed more aggressiveness than any of the players wearing Hawks across the front of their jerseys until the fourth quarter, when Atlanta finally came to life.
After trailing by as many as 18, the home team twice closed within five points - but never got over the hump. Wade delivered the decisive blow when, with the shot clock running down, he threw up a long 3. The shot was errant, but it banked in off the backboard and was just as good as a swish.