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NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, March 6th (All times Eastern)
Orlando Magic (17-44) at Miami Heat (44-14), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Miami Heat will put their franchise-record 15-game winning streak on the line Wednesday night when they host their Florida neighbors, the Orlando Magic.
The Heat haven't lost since Feb. 1 in Indiana. They've won 11 straight at home and their last setback in their own building came on Jan. 4 versus the Chicago Bulls.
Miami has opened a seven-game lead over the Pacers in the Eastern Conference. They are cruising toward another trip to the NBA Finals and another regular- season MVP award for LeBron James.
The Eastern Conference Player of the Month for February, James scored 20 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in Monday's franchise-record victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves. He committed seven turnovers in the road win and the real difference-maker was Dwyane Wade.
He netted a game-high 32 points and handed out 10 assists. Wade shot 15-for-23 from the field, but it was not a pristine effort from the defending champions.
The Heat committed 24 turnovers, which is their most in a game this season, and only shot 23.8 percent from long range.
"Tonight was just about finding some way to win, however we had to do it," Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra said. "It was an uneven game, obviously. Very careless offensively, but at the end of the day we found a way to get the win."
Wednesday starts a four-game homestand against the Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Pacers and Atlanta Hawks.
Miami's neighbors to the north picked up their second consecutive road victory on Monday with a 105-102 win in New Orleans over the Hornets.
Down 17 points in the third quarter and nine late in the fourth, the Magic were spurred by the pair of Arron Afflalo and Al Harrington. Afflalo scored 11 of his game-high 26 points in the final frame and Harrington had eight of his 10 in the last 12 minutes.
The Magic, who welcomed back point guard Jameer Nelson after a six-game absence due to a knee injury, outscored the Hornets 17-5 over the last 3:30 of the game.
"It was great to see the guys feel it and get rewarded for their effort of consistent play," Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn said. "We get down 17 and still plug away and play each possession. That was great to see from multiple people."
Despite the consecutive road victories, the Magic have dropped 18 of 20 overall. They are just 3 1/2 games ahead of Southwest Division rivals, the Charlotte Bobcats, for the worst record in the NBA.
The Magic will play three straight at home after Wednesday's tilt, then go on the road for four straight.
The Heat have won this season's only matchup with the Magic, a 112-110 overtime victory on Dec. 31 in Orlando. The teams have split their last six meetings.
03/06 10:39:56 ET
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