NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, December 31st (All times Eastern)
Miami Heat (20-8) at Orlando Magic (12-18), 5 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Miami Heat will try to halt a two-game losing streak Monday night when they ring out 2012 in the Amway Center against the Orlando Magic.
The Heat fell in Detroit to the Pistons on Friday night, 109-99. In that contest, the defending champion Heat were without Dwyane Wade, who was suspended a game for kicking Charlotte Bobcats' guard Ramon Sessions in the groin.
One night later, with Wade back in uniform, the Heat got clobbered by the Milwaukee Bucks, 104-85 in Milwaukee. The Big Three did its part. LeBron James had 26 points, followed by 24 from Wade and 12 points and 16 rebounds for Chris Bosh.
The rest of the Heat combined for 23 points.
"The last 48 hours has not gone the way we wanted to," said Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra. "We need to take some steps forward in terms of developing our resolve and road toughness. We're not quite there yet. We have it at home. We need to develop it on the road."
The Heat, who were without Udonis Haslem on Saturday, were outscored 35-14 in the fourth quarter and committed 21 turnovers to just six they forced from the Bucks.
At least the Heat can recall fondly the year 2012. They won the franchise's second NBA Championship and it was the first for this group of James, Wade and Bosh.
The Magic can reflect back on 2012 as the year Dwight Howard held them hostage before finally moving on from the talented big man.
As the year winds down, the Magic are mired in a five-game losing streak. They lost forward and captain Glen Davis to a sprained left shoulder, but saw the return of a familiar face.
Hedo Turkoglu came back after nearly two months on the sidelines with a broken bone in his left hand. He played a little more than 23 minutes in a Saturday night loss to the Toronto Raptors and scored eight points on 3-for-8 shooting.
"I was nervous a little bit," Turkoglu admitted. "I've never been out this much, like two months of being out injured, so I was a little nervous. After that, I was OK, though."
The Magic are not OK, though.
They fell to the Raptors, 123-88 at home. Six Toronto players scored in double-figures, compared to just three Orlando players. The Raptors shot 56.1 percent from the field and 55.6 percent from long distance. The Magic shot 44 percent as a team, but under 28 percent from the 3-point line.
The Heat and Magic have split the four-game series each of the last three seasons. The Heat are 1-4 in their last five in Orlando.
12/31 10:30:32 ET