Miami Heat star LeBron James believes that errors on defence contributed to a fourth loss in their last six games against the Atlanta Hawks last night, as the defending champions continue to lose ground on Eastern Conference leaders the Indiana Pacers.
James scored 30 points but Miami failed to stop an efficient Hawks scoring unit taking control of the match late on, with Paul Millsap scoring 26 points as Atlanta snapped a nine-game losing streak against the Heat in some style.
Erik Spoelstra's side 4.5 games behind the Pacers and James has admitted that defensively the Heat are simply not delivering the goods, although he was unable to state directly in what areas Miami need an instant improvement to recapture top form.
He told ESPN: "We scored enough points to win, so obviously it was defense," James said. "Especially in the first half.
"I can't just pinpoint what it is. It's a little bit of everything. At some point we've got to figure it out. It's just not good basketball right now."
Miami's frustrating night was summed up as they came up short in what effectively proved to be a fourth-quarter shootout, with James hitting 11 for 21 from the field as the Heat failed to compensate for Dwayne Wade's absence for a second-straight game.
James' compounded a tough night by taking a late knock to the head in an altercation with Kyle Korver, hit in the back of the head as the three-point king attempted to block a shot.
A flagrant call against Korver was overturned following a review, with James returning to the field but failing to stop the Hawks clipping Miami's wings down the stretch.