WASHINGTON, DC, January 6 – Chris Bosh scored 33 points and Mario Chalmers added 29 to lead Miami to a 116-109 win over Atlanta in triple over-time Thursday despite playing without two injured stars.
LeBron James was sidelined with an ankle injury while Dwyane Wade was out with a foot injury, leaving Bosh alone among Miami’s “Big Three” to face a Hawks squad that inflicted the team’s only prior defeat of the season.
But Chalmers answered the challenge, scoring 22 of his points in the fourth quarter and over-times to lift the Heat to an NBA-best 7-1 on the season.
The San Antonio Spurs, also missing a superstar with Argentine guard Manu Ginobili having had surgery on Thursday for a broken left hand, also triumphed, defeating the visiting Dallas Mavericks 93-71.
At Atlanta, Chalmers sank a 3-pointer with 3:45 to play in the third over-time, added two free throws and drove in for a layup with a minute remaining to finally provide Miami the deciding points.
The Hawks, who fell to 4-3, missed all seven of their shots in the third over-time and gave away two turnovers as well.
Udonis Haslem added 14 points for the Heat while Joe Johnson led Atlanta with 20 points and Josh Smith added 17 for the Hawks.
Bosh hit a tension-packed 3-pointer with 0.6 seconds remaining to pull the Heat level with the Hawks at 93-93, sending the game into over-time. Bosh had seven points in the fourth quarter to spark Miami.
Back-to-back layups by Chalmers put the Heat ahead 97-93 in the first over-time. Atlanta’s Al Horford and Bosh traded layups before the Hawks equalized on Ivan Johnson’s rebound putback and Smith’s outside jumper with 19 seconds remaining, sending the teams into the second over-time at 99-99.
Smith hit a layup to pull the Hawks within 103-101 in the second extra period but he committed a foul to set up two free throws for Miami.
Joe Johnson followed with a basket for Atlanta but Bosh answered for the Heat midway into the over-time only for Johnson to respond with another hoop and Horford tip-in an equalizer to make it 107-107 with 55 seconds to play.
Marvin Williams tipped in an Ivan Johnson shot to give the Hawks a lead but Chalmers answered with two free throws to send the game to a third over-time.
At San Antonio, Matt Bonner led the Spurs with 17 points while Richard Jefferson added 16 for San Antonio, which also had 11 points and eight assists from French guard Tony Parker.
The Spurs led 31-17 after the first quarter and 55-29 at half-time on the way to victory.
Reserve Jason Terry led the reigning NBA champions with 12 points while Delonte West with 10 points was the only Dallas starter in double figures.
German star Dirk Nowitzki shot 3-of-11 from the field and managed only six points for the Mavericks, who as a team shot only 35 percent.