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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, March 4th (All times eastern)

Los Angeles Lakers (46-15) at Miami Heat (30-31), 8 p.m.

(Sports Network) - Miami finally found the win column again in its most recent outing. Staying there doesn't figure to be as easy as the Heat resume a three-game homestand against the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers.

Dwyane Wade finished with 35 points, 12 assists and six rebounds in the opener of the residency on Tuesday, as Miami held on for a 110-106 victory over the Golden State Warriors in South Beach.

Wade, who missed the first three games of the team's skid with a left calf strain, shot 15-of-23 from the floor. Michael Beasley and Quentin Richardson each scored 15, while Jermaine O'Neal added 14 points and 12 rebounds.

O'Neal also missed a pair of foul shots with 9.5 seconds left, keeping Miami's lead at 108-106. The Warriors had a great look for a game-tying basket after the inbound pass, as Ronny Turiaf was alone in the lane. But Turiaf mishandled Stephen Curry's pass, and Carlos Arroyo grabbed the ball before sealing the win at the foul line.

"Pretty is overrated," Wade said. "We're going to take any win we can. We've got 29 games left, any win right now is a very big win."

The Heat currently hold the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, one game ahead of Charlotte.

The Lakers, meanwhile, are cruising atop the West and just finished a three- game homestand of their own in perfect fashion on Tuesday when Kobe Bryant recorded 24 points and six assists, as Los Angeles routed the Indiana Pacers, 122-99.

Jordan Farmar added 19 points off the bench on 8-of-10 shooting, while Andrew Bynum scored 16 for the Lakers, who play their next three away from LA. Pau Gasol hauled in 16 rebounds to go with 14 points.

The Lakers outscored the Pacers 38-17 in the third quarter on the way to the blowout victory, as they continued their home dominance of the Pacers. Los Angeles has won 11 in a row against Indiana at Staples Center.

"In the second half we played team defense, everybody got involved," Lakers big man Lamar Odom said. "We moved the ball and got shots, and then stretched it out."

LA has won five of its past six outings with Miami, including a 108-107 thriller in Hollywood on Dec. 4.

03/04 11:05:35 ET


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