ATLANTA -- It did not take long for LeBron James and the Miami Heat to shake off the rust from the All-Star Weekend break.
James pumped in 24 points and tallied 11 assists to lead the Heat to a 103-90 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night at Philips Arena.
"Well," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said, "if you tuned in, hopefully you saw the start and the finish and nothing in between. It was uneven basketball.
"It's the consistency and not getting bored with a game. If you relax even for a five-minute stretch against a very good team like that, that's what happens. It's a 15-20 point swing in a matter of minutes. Your lead can evaporate that quickly."
In a game of runs -- more than usual -- the Miami Heat were the ones on top at the end,
James led the Heat (37-14) with 24 points, 18 of them in the first half, including a 3-pointer at the buzzer to end the first half. Dwyane Wade scored 20 quiet points.
"We don't win games in 12, 24 minutes, 36 minutes," James said. "We've got to take 48 minutes. It was a good test for us coming out of the break."
Shane Battier had 17 points. including five 3-pointers, and Ray Allen's 15 late-game points helped keep the Heat in the lead.
"They made some tough shots," Hawks coach Larry Drew said of Battier and Allen. "But we lost them a couple of times. That just can't happen."
Al Horford, who was perfect from the field until 2:45 in the third quarter, scored 27 points to lead the Hawks. He made 12 of 15 shots and pulled down nine rebounds.