The Miami Heat will be hosting the New Orleans Hornets at 7:30 at the American Airlines Arena in South Beach. Tonight will have the expansion cousins match up for the first of two contests this season, and the only time they will play in Miami. They'll face each other again on March 29th in New Orleans.
The Heat will be playing in their second games of a six game homestand. After dropping a 105-101 road victory to the embarrassing Washington Wizards, they opened up the stand with a loss to the New York Knicks. It's the first time this season that Miami has lost consecutive games. Afterward, the homestand continues with matchups against the Atlanta Hawks, the Golden State Warriors, the Wizards, and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Hornets are 2-8 in their last ten after losing four of five at home. They dropped a seven point decision last night to the Memphis Grizzlies. They'll return home Tuesday to face the Wizards in Louisiana.
These two last met on January 30th in South Florida. The 15-5 Heat were looking for their fifth straight win, while the 4-16 Hornets were hoping to somehow stop the bleeding. Here's an excerpt from the NBA.COM recap:
The Miami Heat received a scare during the first half but avoided another letdown by defeating the New Orleans Hornets 109-95 Monday at AmericanAirlines Arena.
Coach Erik Spoelstra warned his team about this being a "trap game" because it was coming off a big victory against the Chicago Bulls the previous game. The Heat lost to the Milwaukee Bucks the last time they were in this situation, but avoided a repeat.
Guard Dwyane Wade scored 22 points, rebounding from a subpar game against the Bulls. The Heat shook off a sluggish start to take control in the third quarter. Forward LeBron James, the reigning Eastern Conference player of the week, finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds.
The Hornets were led by Carl Landry's 14 points.
Here's Heat coach Erik Spoelstra speaking about Miami's second quarter:
"Dwyane really set the tone from that point. I was very encouraged by that. We were able to get a lot of opportunities of our defense."
For the Hornets point of view, check out At The Hive.
Miami is coming off their second straight loss and the second time this season they've lost to the Knicks by 20. Here's the partial NBA.COM recap:
Despite playing without Carmelo Anthony, the New York Knicks defeated the Miami Heat 112-92 Thursday at AmericanAirlines Arena.
Guard Raymond Felton led the Knicks with 27 points and seven assists. Felton was one of six New York players to score in double-figures. Forward Steve Novak contributed 18 points off the bench while J.R. Smith added 13 points and six rebounds.
Anthony was a late scratch from the lineup when it was determined he was unable to play after sustaining a cut on his left finger late in Wednesday's victory against the Charlotte Bobcats. The injury occurred while he was chasing a loose ball.
The Knicks proved they could beat the defending champions without their leading scorer. They shot 45 percent from the field and only committed seven turnovers.
The Heat were led by forward LeBron James, who finished with 31 points, 10 rebounds and nine rebounds.
New York coach Mike Wilson spoke later about the key to the Knicks offense:
"The key to us playing good offense is that the ball has to move from side-to-side and we have enough guys who can make shots. I think our guys feel comfortable with who shoots the ball."
For the Knicks perspective, check out Posting and Toasting.
The Hornets are coming off a seven point loss to the Grizzlies last night. NBA.COM has the recap:
Rudy Gay tied a season-high with 28 points, Quincy Pondexter matched his season-high with 16, and the Memphis Grizzlies maintained their NBA-best winning percentage with their second-straight victory, 96-89 over the struggling New Orleans Hornets on Friday night.
New Orleans put up resistance, despite losing for the 11th time in 13 games, and Memphis needed Gay's 3-pointer with 2:10 left to get some breathing room.
Zach Randolph added 15 points and Marc Gasol 13 for the Grizzlies, who improved to 14-3 (.824). Pondexter, the Hornets' first-round draft choice in 2010 who was traded for Greivis Vasquez shortly before last season, appeared to be engaging in a measure of trash talk as he made his way down the court followed each basket.
Go to Straight Outta Vancouver for the Grizzlies take on events.
Game Time: 7:30 PM ET
Current Odds: Miami by -13 1/2
All-Time Series: 34-38, .472, favor Hornets
Season Series: 0-0
Miami Heat: 12-5, .706, first in the Southeast Division, second in the Eastern Conference, fifth in the NBA. Last five: W-W-W-L-L. On pace for 58-24. Current odds of making the postseason: 97.3%
New Orleans Hornets: 5-13, 278, fifth in the Southwest Division, 15th in the Western Conference, tied for 27th in the NBA. Last five: L-L-W-L-L. On pace for 23-59. Current odds of making the postseason: 1.7%
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