Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
The class of the Eastern Conference meets the class of the West.
The Miami Heat will be hosting the San Antonio Spurs at 8:00 at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Tonight will mark the first of two meetings this season between the two clubs. They will match up again in San Antonio on March 31st. The Heat will be playing in the third game of a four game homestand. They’re coming off a seven point win over the Milwaukee Bucks last Wednesday night and a 110-108 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday.This will mark only the third contest for the Heat over the last 11 days. They'll finish up their homestand against the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday before traveling to our Nation’s Capital to face the Washington Wizards. The Spurs are closing a six game roadtrip. They won their first five, defeating the Boston Celtics, the Indiana Pacers, the Toronto Raptors, the Washington Wizards, and the Orlando Magic. They open up a three game homestand on Saturday against the Southwest Division leading Memphis Grizzlies.
The Miami Heat rallied from a 14-point halftime deficit to defeat the San Antonio Spurs 120-98 Tuesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. The victory snapped the Heat's three-game losing streak. The Heat, playing without the injured Dwyane Wade, used a 17-0 run in the third quarter to take control. Wade was out with a sprained ankle.
Forward LeBron James led all scorers with 33 points, 10 assists and five rebounds. Chris Bosh added 30 points, eight rebounds and five assists while swingman Mike Miller finished with a season-high 18 points, all coming on 3-pointers. It was Miller's first game back since undergoing offseason hernia surgery.
The Heat shot 75 percent in the decisive third quarter. Guard Tony Parker led the Spurs with 18 points. It was the third straight blowout in a game involving these two teams. They traded 30-point victories last season, with each team winning on its home floor.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra spoke afterward about the rare luxury of having three superstars:
"We have a great luxury with three players who can do special things when you need it. No question about it, LeBron and Chris were brilliant offensively tonight and shouldered a big load there. But I told the guys that make no mistake about it, the commitment, the activity on the defensive side of the floor in the second half was about as good as we can be."
For the Spurs point of view, check out Pounding the Rock.
Miami is coming off a two point win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night. Here's the partial NBA.COM recap:
The Miami Heat defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 110-108 Friday at AmericanAirlines Arena.
After trailing most of the game, the Heat took the lead for good when guard Ray Allen hit a 3-pointer with 18.2 seconds remaining. Trailing by two, the Cavs had a chance to force overtime. Guard Jeremy Pargo drove the lane, but his shot was blocked by the Heat's Dwyane Wade. LeBron James led the Heat with 30 points and six rebounds while center Chris Bosh added 23 points and seven rebounds. Wade finished with 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
The Heat needed a 33-point fourth quarter, including 15 points by Allen, to overcome the hot-shooting Cavs. Cleveland shot 44 percent from the field but made 14 of 31 from the 3-point arc. The Cavs had eight players in double-figures, led by Pargo and Dion Waiters, who each scored 16 points.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra spoke about how the Heat let the Cavs stay close:
"First of all, Cleveland played a very good basketball game. They did enough to put themselves in position to win ... Our guys absolutely relish those moments in the fourth quarter, the competitiveness of a close game. We need to get out of here quick as we can before they put more seconds on the clock."
For the Cavaliers perspective, check out Fear the Sword.
The Spurs are coming off a laugher last night in Orlando. NBA.COM has the recap:
Manu Ginobili had 20 points, Gary Neal scored 19 and the San Antonio Spurs earned their fifth straight win, racing past the Orlando Magic 110-89 on Wednesday night.
Tim Duncan added 15 points in 27 minutes and Tony Parker chipped in 14 points and eight assists.
The Spurs also posted their eighth consecutive victory on the road and have now beaten the Magic in five of their last six meetings.
Arron Afflalo led the Magic with 16 points, followed by Jameer Nelson with 14. The Magic struggled from the field, connecting on just two of their 15 3-point attempts.
Orlando has lost two straight and concludes its season-high, five-game homestand Friday against Brooklyn.
San Antonio ends its six-game road trip Thursday in Miami.
Check out Orlando Pinstriped Post for all the Magic news you could possibly need.
Game Time: 8:00 PM ET
Current Odds: Miami by -6 1/2
All-Time Series: 15-34, Miami would have to win every contest between the two teams through the 2021-22 season to climb above .500.
Season Series: 0-0
Miami Heat: 10-3, first in the Southeast Division, first in the Eastern Conference, third in the NBA. Last five: L-W-W-W-W. Current odds of making the postseason: 96.7%
San Antonio Spurs: 13-3, second in the Southwest Division, second in the Western Conference, second in the NBA. Last five: W-W-W-W-W, Current odds of making the postseason: 97.9%
For the Heat, Rashard Lewis has a slight illness but is probable for the game. Dexter Pittman is out indefinitely with strained quadriceps. Shane Battier will miss at least a week with a sprained right MCL.
Starting Lineup/Team Stats: (MPG, PPG, RPG, APG, SPG, BPG); PER
PG - Mario Chalmers (26.4, 6.7, 2.7, 4.6, 1.7, 0.2) 12.0
SG – Dwyane Wade (33.8, 18.1, 4.3, 4.7, 1.3, 0.9) 19.3
SF - Rashard Lewis (15.6, 7.2, 2.0, 0.5, 0.5, 0.1) 14.6
PF - LeBron James (37.2, 25.2, 8.8, 6.5, 0.8, 1.0) 28.5
C - Chris Bosh (33.8, 20.2, 8.1, 1.4, 0.8, 1.3) 24.6
PG – Tony Parker (31.9, 17.5, 3.2, 7.1, 0.7, 0.1) 19.9
SG – Gary Neal (21.5, 9.6, 2.9, 1.7, 0.3, 1.0) 14.6
PF – Tim Duncan (30.9, 18.7, 10.1, 2.7, 0.8, 2.3) 27.3
C – Boris Diaw (24.0, 5.7, 3.2, 2.7, 0.5, 0.2) 11.9
Splits: Against the Heat, Tim Duncan averages 18.9 points and 11.6 rebounds in 36.7 minutes averaged over 25 games. Chris Bosh puts up 18.5 points and 10.3 assists in just under three quarters per contest.
Chris Bosh needs one field goal to break his current tie with Sherman Douglas in 17th on the all-time list, with 1,012.
LeBron James will pass Bimbo Coles into 11th all-time with five field goals, giving him 1,513.
Joel Anthony needs nine rebounds to pass Bimbo Coles into 19th, with 1,070.
In honor of tonight's Clash, here's Rock the Casbah.
Miami's going to be tested tonight against on of the NBA's very few actual elite teams. San Antonio's lineup is designed to give Miami a fit. The Big Fundamental will go for 20 and 12 and Tony Parker will collect at least eight assists. That being said, San Antonio drags a tired bunch into South Beach tonight to face a very well rested Miami team. Lebron will score 32 with 10 rebounds and eight assists and Ray Allen will pitch in 14 off the bench. The Spurs will make a game out of this, but Miami walks away with a victory on the last shot of the night, 107-105.
Pickum: Outcome and margin of victory
Heat by at least 11 (6 votes)
Heat by 3-10 (18 votes)
Heat by one shot (3 votes)
Spurs by one shot (2 votes)
Spurs by 3-10 (10 votes)
Spurs by at least 11 (4 votes)
43 total votes