Tonight at 7:30 PM ET, the HEAT will faceoff against the Charlotte Bobcats at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, NC. It's the third of four contests between the two this season. Miami took the opener in Charlotte, 97-81 on November 16th and a 99-98 squeaker in Miami on December 1st. They'll conclude the series on March 3rd back in South Florida.
Miami is playing in the fifth game of a six game roadtrip. They lost the first three to the New York Knicks, 102-92 on January 9th, 104-95 in two overtimes to the Brooklyn Nets the following night, and 114-97 to the Washington Wizards on Wednesday. They bounced back last night with a 101-86 win against the 76ers.
Charlotte just split a two game roadtrip. They lost to the 76ers 95-92 on Wednesday then defeated the Orlando Magic 111-101 last night. They'll play two more at home after hosting the Heat tonight, welcoming the Toronto Raptors on Monday and the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.
The last time Miami played Charlotte, the 13-3 Heat used a 38-point fourth quarter to take a 99-98 win on December 1st. LeBron James scored 26 with five boards and four helpers, Chris Bosh pitched in 22 points (including a three-for-four fourth quarter from beyond the arc) with nine rebounds, Dwyane Wade scored 17 with four assists and two blocks, Mario Chalmers had 12 points and six assists, and Michael Beasley grabbed seven rebounds. For the 8-9 Bobcats, Kemba Walker led the way with a game-high 27 points and six assists, Gerald Henderson had 17 points with six boards and four assists, and Al Jefferson scored 16 with 13 rebounds. * Box Score * Full Recap
Bosh spoke later abut his three three-pointers late:
It kind of just happened. I was wide open so I figured I would take a step back and in the words of our late teammate Mike Miller, `let it fly.' That was really it.
Last night, Miami broke a three-game losing streak by defeating the 76ers, 101-86. Chris Bosh led Miami with 25 points, six rebounds, five blocks, four assists, and two steals, James had 21 points with 10 assists and eight boards, while Norris Cole and Shane Battier both scored 13. Tony Wroten led the Sixers with 13 points off the bench, Eric Turner scored 11 with six rebounds, and Spencer Hawes had 10 points and 10 rebounds. * Box Score * Full Recap
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra spoke about Miami's efforts afterward:
We came in with a better focus, a better intensity, with the way we played defensively.
For more on the Sixers, check out Liberty Ballers.
Charlotte defeated the Orlando Magic last night at TWCC, 111-101. Al Jefferson led the way with 30 points, 16 boards, and three steals, Kemba Walker had 19 points with 10 assists, while Josh McRoberts and Gerald Henderson each scored 17 in the win. For the Magic, Arron Afflalo scored 24 with four rebounds, Tobias Harris had 18 points with seven boards, Jameer Nelson scored 18 with eight helpers, Victor Oladipo scored 11 with 10 assists, and Glen Davis had 11 points and 11 boards. * Full Recap * Box Score
Charlotte Bobcats vs Orlando Magic | January 17, 2014 | Full Game Highlights | NBA 2013-14 [HD] (via NBACalifornia)
Jefferson talked with the press later:
This is the NBA. When I looked up and saw the score 19-2, I said: 'Oh boy!' because every good team is going to make a run. They made their run and had the lead at the half so we had to go back out there and get refocused on defense.
Go to Orlando Pinstriped Post for all the Magic you could ever want.
GameTime: 7:30 PM ET
Season Series: Miami leads, 2-0, and clinch the series with a win tonight.
All-Time Series: Miami is 27-10 against Charlotte, their best record against any team.
Heat: 28-11, .718, on pace for a 59-23 season. First in the Southeast Division, Second in the Eastern Conference, fifth in the NBA. Last five: W-L-L-L-W. Playoff odds: 99.99%
Bobcats: 17-24, .415, on pace for a 34-48 season. Fourth in the Southeast Division, Eighth in the Eastern Conference, 19th in the NBA. Last five: L-L-W-L-W. Playoff odds: 49.6%
PG - Mario Chalmers
PF - Shane Battier
C - Chris Bosh
SF - LeBron James
SG - Dwyane Wade
PG - Kemba Walker
PF - Josh McRoberts
C - Al Jefferson
SF - Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
SG - Gerald Henderson
Check back here for the GameThread, going live at 6:30 PM. In the meantime, check out Rufus on Fire for anything you want to know about the Bobcats.