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Heat At Hawks Score: James Posts 43 As Miami Is Destroying Atlanta, 86-57, Through Three Quarters

LeBron James drove the lane, converted the layup and got fouled. The Miami Heat lead the Atlanta Hawks by 30. It was time for the Heat front-runners at Philips Arena to dust off the "MVP!" chant.

James has 43 points on 16-for-20 shooting from the field to lead the Heat to an 86-57 demolition of the lowly Hawks through three quarters at Philips Arena.

Dwyane Wade poured 14, including a trio of 3-pointers and Chris Bosh also added 14 for the Heat, who are embarrassing a Hawks team that quite frankly quit playing basketball.

How bad did it get?

James outscored the Hawks 23-20 in the frame. The Hawks have connected on just 10-for-17 from the free throw line and Josh Smith is taking an ill-advised 3-pointer down 18 points instead of going to the hoop.

You can't exactly blame the Hawks fans at the Bulb for turning on their terrible basketball team that is guarding LeBron James like he's Shelden Williams or some 12th man on an NBA team.

Zaza Pachulia is about the only one who is playing with any sort of emotion in this one.

He did something to defend th King. He pushed off on a foul. And, of course, the refs called a Flagrant-1 on the play with just over a minute left in the third quarter. But that's expected. You can't commit a rough foul a superstar in this league without getting some sort of extra punitive penalty. Pachulia also picked up a technical for bumping shoulders with Joel Anthony.

Al Horford has 11 points and Smith 10 for a Hawks team that is getting destroyed on the boards, 35-19.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.