May 2, 2009 / 3:40 AM / 11 years ago

Wade scores 41 as Heat slam Hawks to set up Game Seven

* Wade scores 41 points as Miami force decider

Atlanta Hawks Zaza Pachulia (L) fouls Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade during the first quarter of Game 6 of their NBA Eastern Conference basketball playoff series in Miami, Florida May 1, 2009. REUTERS/Hans Deryk

* Beasley records 22 points and 15 rebounds

* Both teams face injuries

MIAMI (Reuters) - Dwyane Wade scored 41 points to lead the Miami Heat to a 98-72 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday and force a deciding Game Seven in their Eastern Conference playoff series.

Wade made 11-of-23 field goals and 16 free throws to help the Heat tie the best-of-seven series 3-3 after the Hawks recorded a 106-91 victory in Game Five on Wednesday.

Wade scored 10 points in the third, and 12 in the fourth - highlighted by a dunk over Hawks center Zaza Pachulia - before he left to a standing ovation midway through the final period.

“From the beginning of the game we came out really aggressive and everyone was involved,” Wade told reporters.

“Both teams will be desperate, it’s the last game of the season for one team,” he added of the decider in Atlanta on Sunday. “There’s no pressure on us. We’re the underdogs in this series.”

Mike Bibby scored 20 points for the Hawks, who were playing without Al Horford, who sprained his ankle during Game Five.

Miami’s Jermaine O’Neal also missed the game after he was concussed in Game Five in what has been a physical series.

The Heat are also missing forward Jamario Moon, who has a hernia and will not play again this season.

Miami rookie forward Michael Beasley scored 22 points and made 15 rebounds in his best game of the postseason to gain some momentum heading into the final game.

“We have to maintain this edge,” said Miami coach Erik Spoelstra. “We have to do whatever it takes in Game Seven to get the job done.

“That’s been the story of this series for both teams, and who knows, maybe this will be the most epic of all the Game Sevens.”

The series has yet to feature a close game and each has been decided by 10 points or more.

Slideshow (2 Images)

“They had their way tonight and you have to tip your cap to them,” said Hawks coach Mike Woodson.

“This series has been heated both ways. We feel good about going home and playing Game Seven in front of our home fans.

“It should be a great game.”

Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles

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