Tonight at 6PM, the Charlotte Bobcats will visit the Miami HEAT in the AAA in South Beach, FL. It's the second of four contests between the two this season. The HEAT defeated Charlotte 97-81 in their house two weeks ago, and will play there again on January 18th. They'll close the series out in Miami on March 3rd. The HEAT are riding a nine-game winning streak. They just finished up a two-game roadtrip with a 95-84 win against the Cavaliers in Cleveland and a 90-83 victory over the Raptors in Toronto. They'll stay at home to play the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night.
The Cats are coming off a three game homestand at 1-2, with losses to the Boston Celtics, 96-86 and the Indiana Pacers 99-74, and a 92-76 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. They will travel to Dallas to face the Mavericks on Tuesday night before returning home for a three-game homestand.
The 4-5 Bobcats hosted the 6-3 HEAT on November 16th. LeBron James led Miami with a game high 30 points on 13-of-18 shooting, seven assists and four rebounds. Michael Beasley came off the bench for 15 points and three boards, and Chris Andersen tallied 10 points, seven rebounds and two blocks. Kemba Walker led Charlotte with 22 points, Jeff Taylor pitched in 14, and Gerald Henderson scored 13 with seven rebounds. * Full Recap * Box Score
Miami coach Erik Spoelstra spoke later about the best player in the world:
LeBron (James) came out with great energy at the beginning of the game. When you see him come out attacking off the glass and pushing coast-to-coast you know he's feeling good with his body. You know that it sets a great tone for our basketball team. He was getting into the paint, getting to the rim and getting three-point plays. He had a great disposition on the court which is always good for us.
Rufus on Fire has your Hornets.
Miami defeated the Raptors in Toronto 90-83 on Friday night. James led both teams with 27 points, also grabbing six boards and dishing out three assists. Dwyane Wade was the only other Miami player in double figures, with 22 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and four steals. Mario Chalmers made eight assists and three steals. DeMar DeRozan was the standout for the Raptors, with 25 points, seven rebounds and three dimes. Rudy Gay scored 21 with 11 rebounds in a losing effort. * Full Recap * Box Score
James talked about the HEAT afterward:
We got to have these type of games throughout the course of the season. The games that will challenge you and tonight was a great example of how together we are. We've been in this situation and were able to handle it.
You can read about Toronto at Raptors HQ.
The Bobcats defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 92-76 on Friday night. Al Jefferson led Charlotte with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Gerald Henderson pitched in with 19 points and six boards, and Bismack Biyombo grabbed 14 boards. Brandon Knight led three Bucks in double figures with 17 points. * Full Recap * Box Score
FULL HIGHLIGHTS [HD] - Milwaukee Bucks vs Charlotte Bobcats | November 29, 2013 | NBA 2013-14 Season (via NBACalifornia)
Jefferson spoke later:
Every game, I'm getting better and better with the way I feel and the way I'm playing. Milwaukee is a heck of a team, they've got great shooters and they were hanging around in the fourth (quarter). I did want to take it upon myself to go on and seal the game and walk away with the win, and I got hot.
For more on the Bucks, head over to Brew Hoop.
Game Time: 6 PM
Season Series: Second of four meetings. Miami defeated the Bobcats, 97-81 on November 16th.
All-Time Series: Miami leads 26-10. It's the HEAT's best record against any opponent.
Broadcast: LEAGUEPASS, Sportsnet One, SunSpM, SSO-CHA
Radio: NBA Game Time Audio, WAXY, WFNZ 610 AM
Miami HEAT: 14-3, .824, on pace for a 68-14 season. First in the Southeast Division, Second in the Eastern Conference, Tied for third in the NBA. Last five: W-W-W-W-W, playoff odds: 99.9%
Charlotte Bobcats: 8-9, .471, on pace for a 39-43 season. Tied for third in the Southeast Division, tied for fifth in the Eastern Conference, tied for 16th in the NBA. Last five: L-W-L-L-W, playoff odds: 58.2%
Dwyane Wade will pass 25,000 minutes played tonight with seven minutes on the floor. He is the 243rd NBA player to eclipse that milestone. Believe it or not, he's the fifth player on the HEAT's active roster to make it to this point, after Shane Battier, Rashard Lewis, Chris Bosh, and LeBron James. If he scores at least 18 points, he will pass Latrell Sprewell into 85th on the NBA's all-time leaderboard, with 16,713.
Mario Chalmers will move into third place on Miami's all-time leaderboard with four more steals, moving past Glen Rice with his 573rd.
Six blocked shots will move Shane Battier into the NBA's all-time top 100.
Today in HEAT History
Miami is 6-3 in games played on December 1st.
1989 - Nets 101, HEAT 77
1990 - Warriors 137, HEAT 111
1995 - HEAT 108, Hornets 101, OT
1999 - HEAT 90, 76ers 83
2000 - Jazz 94, HEAT 92
2008 - HEAT 130, Warriors 129, OT
2009 - HEAT 107, Trail Blazers 100
2010 - HEAT 97, Pistons 72
2012 - HEAT 102, Nets 89
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
MPG: LBJ - 35.3, DWade - 33.6, BOSH - 27.9
PPG: LBJ - 26.2, DWade - 18.6, BOSH - 14.1
RPG: LBJ - 5.9, BOSH - 5.6, DWade - 4.8
APG: LBJ - 6.4, DWade - 5.5, Rio - 4.9
SPG: DWade - 2.2, Rio - 1.9, LBJ, Rashard - 1.1
BPG: BOSH - 1.3, Birdman - 1.1, Warden - 0.7
PER: LBJ (564 minutes) - 30.6, B Eazy (179 minutes) - 22.1, DWade (437 minutes) - 21.5, BOSH (419 minutes) - 18.6, Birdman (277 minutes) - 17.3
MPG: Kemba Walker - 34.4, Gerald Henderson - 32.5, Al Jefferson - 29.0
PPG: Kemba Walker - 16.0, Al Jefferson - 15.8, Gerald Henderson - 14.4
RPG: Al Jefferson - 7.9, Bismack Biyombo - 7.3, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist - 5.4
APG: Josh McRoberts - 4.3, Kemba Walker - 4.0, Ramon Sessions - 3.0
SPG: Kemba Walker - 1.5, Josh McRoberts, Gerald Henderson - 0.9
BPG: Al Jefferson - 1.6, Bismack Biyombo - 0.9, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist - 0.8
PER: Al Jefferson (232 minutes) - 22.1, Jeff Adrien (176 minutes) - 17.8, Ramon Sessions (359 minutes) - 16.9, Josh McRoberts (447 minutes) - 15.0, Kemba Walker (585 minutes) - 14.3
Chris Anderson has hit 50% or more of his shots in 12 of his last 13 games, making 35-of-52 (.673) from the field over that span.
Since sitting out two games in mid-November to rest up his knees, Dwyane Wade has scored at least 20 points in his last four games.
Chris Bosh has made seven-of-24 (.292) shots over the last three games, scoring 17 points with 13 personal fouls.
After going 18-for-35 from three-point distance to start the season, Mario Chalmers has only connected on four-of-16 shots (.250) over his last four games.
Rashard Lewis has only made two of his last 16 three-point shots.
That's it for today's preview. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend. Check back here for the GameThread going live at 5PM. In the meantime, you can go to Rufus on Fire to check out the competition.