NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, February 9th (All times eastern)
Houston Rockets (27-23) at Miami Heat (24-27), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat hope a return to south Florida will cure their recent woes, as they try to halt a five-game losing streak Tuesday versus the Houston Rockets at AmericanAirlines Arena.
Miami has fallen into a virtual tie with Milwaukee for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, and is coming off Saturday's 95-91 setback at Chicago in the finale of a winless three-game road trip. Wade recorded 20 points and Jermaine O'Neal added 24 and a game-best 16 rebounds for the Heat, who got just six points from Michael Beasley.
"Our focus right now has to be staying together, our purity and commitment to each other and the team and to hold our ground until we turn the tide. This was a tough loss," said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra.
The Heat, who are 13-12 as the host, will try to stop a two-game slide at home and is 9-12 against teams from the Western Conference this season. Wade, meanwhile, has scored in double figures in 145 consecutive games, a team record. He owns 429 double-figure scoring games in his career and is closing in on Alonzo Mourning's team record of 442 straight games.
Houston is coming off a tough home loss versus the Philadelphia 76ers in which Aaron Brooks recorded 34 points and tied a career-high with a 6-of-11 performance from three-point territory. Brooks posted 17 points in the second quarter for Houston, which was outscored by a 32-19 margin in the final stanza.
"That was a tough loss," said Houston coach Rick Adelman. "We didn't play well at all offensively. In the fourth quarter you have got to make stops, and we didn't really stop them in the whole fourth quarter."
Kyle Lowry netted 14 points and Carl Landry added 13 and 10 rebounds in the loss, Houston's fifth in its last eight contests. Lowry left the game in the third quarter with a sprained left ankle and is expected to miss Tuesday's game. Trevor Ariza could also miss tonight's tilt in Miami with an injured hip. Ariza was forced to exit the game in the final moments of the fourth quarter.
Saturday's loss to Philadelphia snapped Houston's home winning streak in the month of February at 17 straight games. On a brighter note, the Rockets hold a 17-5 record in games following a loss this season and are 1 1/2 games off the final postseason berth in the West.
Miami recently defeated Houston, 115-106, on January 15 at the Toyota Center behind Wade's game-high 37 points and eight assists. Miami halted a three-game slide in the series with that win, but the Rockets have won five of the past seven meetings between the teams.
02/09 10:37:04 ET