Shaq says he's ready after Heat preseason game

MIAMI (AP) -- Shaquille O'Neal believes he's in regular-season

form, even though the Miami Heat are still three weeks away from

games that count.

O'Neal scored 10 points in 16 first-half minutes before taking

the rest of the game off Wednesday night, and the Atlanta Hawks

benefited from his absence. Josh Childress scored 17 of his 25

points in the fourth quarter and overtime, helping Atlanta beat

Miami 106-100 in an exhibition game.

Joe Johnson scored 21 points and Marvin Williams added 17 for

the Hawks (2-0), who got a game-high 15 rebounds from Josh Smith.

"I'm ready. I just want everybody to know that I'm ready to

go," O'Neal said. "I don't have any injuries. Just ready to play,

ready to get us off to a good start."

If the first two preseason games are any indicator, the Hawks

are also ready for a good start.

They held off Orlando on Monday in the exhibition opener, then

forced the Heat into an 0-for-8 shooting performance in overtime to

win for the second time in three nights.

"The exhibition season is a time to evaluate players," Atlanta

coach Mike Woodson said. "For us, we're just trying to bond and

build some chemistry, something we desperately need and we didn't

have a chance to do last year with all the injuries. It's fun to

coach games like this."

Udonis Haslem finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds for Miami

(0-2). Smush Parker scored 14 points and Brian Chase -- one of

several players fighting for a roster spot -- had 11 for the Heat.

Miami was outscored 6-0 in overtime.

Childress scored the final four points of regulation to pull

Atlanta into a 100-all tie, then opened overtime with a three-point


Both teams had shots late in regulation to win.

Atlanta rookie Acie Law IV -- who had the game-winner against

Orlando on Monday -- missed a 20-footer with 11 seconds left. The

Heat got the rebound and set up a play for Haslem, who missed a

contested shot in the lane, and Atlanta didn't get another shot off

before overtime.

With O'Neal helping Miami control play, the Heat led by 14

points midway through the first half. But Atlanta owned a

16{-minute stretch from there, outscoring Miami 41-16 and taking a

70-59 lead with 4:27 left in the third.

But Miami then pulled off its own rally, a 25-8 spurt that put

the Heat ahead 84-78 after consecutive baskets by Chase and a

baseline jumper by Haslem.

O'Neal didn't play in Miami's exhibition opener on Monday, and

it's doubtful that he'll be a regular in the remaining five

preseason games.

He took a handoff from Jeremy Richardson and dunked shortly

after tip-off, then caught a lob from Jason Williams about 5

minutes later and threw the ball down hard. O'Neal also scored on a

jump hook while moving across the lane, and a turnaround jumper

from the baseline -- two of his go-to moves.

"I say this all the time: I don't know how you stop Shaquille

O'Neal," Woodson said. "You could go to him every time down the

floor and get something good."Game notes
Miami's Southeast Division championship banner from last

season is already hanging, with no fanfare. ... Richardson picked

up his third foul with 5:48 left in the first quarter, fouling

Johnson on a 3-point attempt. He got his fourth foul 15 seconds

into the second half, again hitting Johnson on a 3-point try. ...

Atlanta rookie Al Horford -- a member of Florida's two-time NCAA

championship teams -- knocked over a couple of courtside chairs

diving to save a loose ball. ... Miami F Penny Hardaway didn't

dress for the second straight preseason game because of a

quadriceps injury.