Tonight at 7:30, the Heat will play host to the Brooklyn Nets at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, FL. They've already played three times this season, with Miami winning twice in Brooklyn, 104-98 on December 16th and 102-98 on January 26th, and Brooklyn winning their decision in Miami, 111-105 on December 28th. This is the season finale of the series.
Miami is closing a short two-game homestand. They started with a 108-97 win over the Orlando Magic on Friday. After tonight's game, they'll take to the West Coast to play the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday, the Sacramento Kings on Friday, and the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday.
Brooklyn just finished a three-game homestand at 2-1. Tonight starts a four-game road trip for the Nets, and they'll play seven of their next eight on the road. After tonight's game, they'll play the Magic tomorrow night, the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday, and the New York Knicks on Friday.
The last time the Heat faced the Nets was on January 26th in Brooklyn. Dwyane Wade had 27 points with eight helpers, four rebounds, three steals, and two blocks, while Chris Bosh also scored 27, on 12-of-18 shooting with five rebounds and four assists. Justise Winslow pitched in with 13 points and seven rebounds off the bench. Andrea Bargnani made nine-of-12 shots from the floor, leading the Nets in defeat off the bench with 20 points. Joe Johnson had 15 points and eight assists, and Brook Lopez scored 13 with 10 rebounds.
We have to be aggressive all the time, really, no matter who is in the game. The team is looking for us to be effective all the time, especially late. That's our job. Dwyane, he's one of the best in the world at it. He's going to get his shot and he's usually going to make it. I just try to work off of him and shoot the ball with confidence and make plays when it's time. - Bosh
NetsDaily has more on Brooklyn.
In Miami's last game, the Heat defeated the Orlando Magic, 108-97 on Friday night. Hassan Whiteside led Miami with 26 points, 12 rebounds, and five blocks. Goran Dragic had 22 with eight helpers and four steals, Josh Richardson had 14, Amar'e Stoudemire scored 13 with five boards, and Luol Deng scored 10 with 13 rebounds. Eric Fournier scored 20 points with seven rebounds, and Andrew Nicholson had 19 points with six rebounds in Orlando's losing effort.
My family came down here today and I'm just glad they got to see me play. It took me a long time to get here. I'm just so thankful just to get the opportunity to showcase my talents. It's really special to me. - Whiteside
You can find more on the Magic at Orlando Pinstriped Post.
Brooklyn's last game was a 120-110 home win over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday. Brook Lopez scored 23 with nine rebounds and four assists, Bojan Bogdanovic scored 18, and Sergey Karasev scored 17 with seven rebounds and four assists. Paul George led the Pacers with a game-high 27 points in their loss, backed by Ian Mahinmi's 18 and George Hill's 17.
Bojan hit a big 3 and Brook played a great fourth quarter. Everyone was touching the ball on the court. Everybody looked pretty good today and when we move the ball we looked pretty good, like a team. - Karasev
Nets Daily has more on Brooklyn.
GameTime: 7:30PM, FS-SUN, YES
All-Time Heat-to-Head: Miami is 65-46 all-time against the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets, their seventh best record against any team.
Miami Heat: 42-30, .583, on pace for 48-34. Second in the Southeast Division (one game behind the Atlanta Hawks, 0.5 games ahead of the Charlotte Hornets), fifth in the Eastern Conference (0.5 games behind the Boston Celtics, six games ahead of the ninth-place Chicago Bulls), ninth in the NBA (1.5 games ahead of the Memphis Grizzlies). Last Five: L-W-W-L-W.
Brooklyn Nets: 21-51, .292, on pace for 24-58. Fourth in the Atlantic Division (eight games behind the third-place New York Knicks), 14th in the Eastern Conference (12.5 games ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers), 27th in the NBA (1.5 games ahead of the Phoenix Suns). Last Five: L-L-L-W-W.
Miami Heat: Chris Bosh (blood clots) is listed out until at least April 5th, and Tyler Johnson (shoulder) will not return before April 10th.
Brooklyn Nets: Jarrett Jack (knee) is out for the rest of the season.
PG - Goran Dragic
SG - Dwyane Wade, Josh Richardson
C - Amar'e Stoudemire, Hassan Whiteside
SF - Joe Johnson, Justise Winslow
PF - Luol Deng, Josh McRoberts
PG - Donald Sloan, Shane Larkin
SG - Wayne Ellington, Markel Brown
C - Brook Lopez, Willie Reed
SF - Bojan Bogdanovic, Sean Kilpatrick
PF - Thaddeus Young, Thomas Robinson
Justise Winslow will pass 2,000 minutes (that's a day-and-a-half) on the court with 13 more minutes. He's currently 77th on Miami's all-time leaderboard.
Goran Dragic will pass 3,000 minutes (over two days) on the court with 24 minutes played, and he ranks 57th on the same list. Nine assists will move him past Voshon Lenard into 23rd all-time with 519.
Luol Deng needs four three-pointers to tie Rasual Butler and Bimbo Coles with 157 in 24th all-time.
Hassan Whiteside is moving toward Shaquille O'Neal on Miami's all-time leaderboard in blocked shots. He ranks sixth with 359, and needs 25 to tie O'Neal.
Check out the live GameThread just prior to the tipoff, tonight at 7:30PM.