Tonight at 7:30PM, the Heat will welcome the New Orleans Pelicans to the AmericanAirlines Arena. This is the first of two meetings this season between the two, with the rematch next week in New Orleans.
Miami is playing their second game in two nights following their nine-day All-Star break. This short two-game homestand concludes with the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night.
The Pelicans are also dealing with a short turnaround, after dropping a 95-84 decision to the Orlando Magic last night. Tonight is the closing set of a two-game Florida road-trip. They'll begin a three-game homestand afterward, with the Toronto Raptors on Monday, the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday, and the Heat on Friday.
Miami's last game against New Orleans was on March 22nd at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, LA. The 28-40 Pelicans defeated the 47-20 Heat by a 105-95 final count. Anthony Davis led the way with 30 points on 13-of-22 shooting with 11 rebounds and three steals. Tyreke Evans pitched in with 16 points and eight helpers, and Al-Farouq Aminu scored a dozen points with eight boards. The Heat were paced by LeBron James' 25 points, nine assists and eight rebounds. Mario Chalmers came through with 19 points and seven assists, and Michael Beasley come off the bench for 16 points on eight-of-12 shooting. * Box Score * Full Recap
Yes, our locker room is angry. Yes, our locker room is frustrated, as rightly we should be. We're not accustomed to this type of play, these type of standards, particularly on the defensive end and if we want to change, we have to look inward. Every single one of us, including the staff, including the players to make change. - Erik Spoelstra, after watching his team drop it's seventh game of 13 for the month of March.
There's more on the Pelicans at The Bird Writes.
Miami kicked off their second-half push for the postseason last night with a 111-87 victory over the New York Knicks. Recently acquired point guard Goran Dragic was not yet available for the Heat, who saw eight players score at least a dozen points on the night. Shabazz Napier led Miami with 18 points, six assists and seven rebounds. Luol Deng had 13 points with eight boards and eight assists, and Tyler Johnson came through with 14 points. * Full Recap
See Posting and Toasting for more on the Knicks.
New Orleans lost to the Orlando Magic, 95-84 last night. Tyreke Evans scored 14 points with 10 assists and eight rebounds, Anthony Davis had 13 with 11 boards, while Quincy Poindexter and Ryan Anderson each came off the bench for 13 in the loss. The Magic would see Victor Olapido score 22 points, Nick Vucevic score 18 with 13 rebounds, and Eric Fournier had 16 with six boards. * Full Recap
Minus the last three games when we were really depleted - we've played a lot without Jrue and won some big games. We know we can do it. - Pelicans coach Monty Williams
Orlando Pinstriped Post is your source for the Magic.
GameTime: 7:30 PM ET
All-Time Series: The Heat have a .481 winning percentage in 27 games against the Pelicans, going 13-14 all-time. It's complicated, though. When the Charlotte Bobcats relaunched this season as the Hornets, they inherited the old Hornet's history. Meanwhile, the team that actually joined the NBA with the Heat in 1988-89 had the first half of their history lopped off, and are considered as having had joined the NBA in 2002-03, although at the time it was really their 15th season.
Miami Heat: 23-30, .434, on pace for a 36-46 season. Third in the Southeast Division, seventh in the Eastern Conference, 17th in the NBA. Playoff Odds: 48.5%
New Orleans Pelicans: 27-27, .500, on pace for a 41-41 season. Fifth in the Southwest Division, 10th in the Western Conference, 16th in the NBA. Playoff Odds: 10.9%
If Goran Dragic appears in the game tonight, he will be the 215th Heat player to appear in an NBA game. If his brother Zoran plays, he'll be #216. Chris Andersen will play in his 151st Heat contest, tying him in 48th with Malik Allen.
Mario Chalmers needs 11 field goals to tie Bimbo Coles in 13th all-time with 1512.
With his next three-pointer, Dwyane Wade will break a tie with LeBron James for seventh all-time, with his 366th. Luol Deng needs three to move into Miami's top 50, which would tie him at 52 with Yakhouba Diawara.
Chalmers will tie Kevin Edwards with eight free throws, in 13th with 735.
Andersen will tie then pass Voshon Lenard with three rebounds, putting him in 36th with 731.
With his next steal, Udonis Haslem will become the 10th Heat player to total at least 400 with the team.
Hassan Whiteside is flying up the franchise blocked-shot leaderboard, and is already in 40th with 59. Next up to go down, Shawn Marion (60), Bruce Bowen (64), Clarence Weatherspoon (66), and Dan Majerle (68).
Chalmers will pass Kevin Edwards into 11th all-time with six points, which would give him 4363.