Heat heads to Philly looking to regain winning ways

The Heat need Shane Battier to break out of his shooting slump. In his last four games, Battier is shooting just 17.6% from the field and 0-for-11 from three point range.

It's been a rough week for the Miami Heat since they hit the road on Monday. At that time things were looking up for the Heat; they had just swept a three-game homestand and were looking at their week of road games as a formidable challenge against some of the best teams the Eastern Conference had to offer. So far the Heat have gotten what they expected, but unfortunately haven't been able to get a win, dropping tight games in Orlando and Chicago.

Miami still has a chance to finish off their road trip on a good note if they can pull out a win tonight in Philly. It's not going to be easy, with the Sixers having their best season in several years. They have been sitting atop the Atlantic Division for almost the entire season, currently holding a 1½ game lead over the Boston Celtics and a 6 game lead over 3rd place New York.

The Heat have enjoyed some recent success against Philadelphia, both in the regular season and the playoffs. Miami has won nine straight regular season games against the 76ers, and also eliminated them from the playoffs last year, beating them in the 1st round four games to one. So far this season the Heat hasn't had a problem beating Philly, winning each of their two meetings by at least 20 points and out-rebounding the Sixers 99-69.

It's efforts that like on the glass that generally translates into victories for Miami. That kind of rebounding success is something that has eluded the Heat of late, as they've been out-rebounded by an average of 13.2 over their last four games. Miami has also given up 61 offensive boards during that span, and you can't expect to win when giving your opponents an extra 15 offensive possessions.

GAME NOTES

  • Miami is 13-9 on the road. Philadelphia is 16-8 at home.
  • The Heat have now lost four consecutive games on the road.
  • The last time Miami lost five road games in a row was at the end of the 2007-08 season when they finished out the year losing nine straight away from home. That was their infamous 15-win season.
  • Dwyane Wade is averaging 30.7 points over his last three games.
  • Wade scored 36-points and LeBron James added 35 in their last game, Wednesday against Chicago.
  • Philly is coming off a 111-94 loss at Indiana, which snapped a 3-game winning streak.
  • The Sixers haven't given up 100 points in back-to-back games all season.
  • Miami has only cracked 100 points once in their last four outings, though they still lead the Eastern Conference in scoring, putting up 102.5 points per game.
  • For Miami, forward Mike Miller (ankle) is out.
  • As for the Sixers, they list center Spencer Hawes (Achilles) as day-to-day, though he returned from a 5-week absence in Philly's last game.
  • Philadelphia could have a new player on their roster tonight, as they acquired swingman Sam Young from Memphis during Thursday's trade deadline.

Tipoff from the Wells Fargo Center is set for 7pm. The game will be televised locally on Sun Sports and nationally on ESPN.

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