NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, October 31st (All times eastern)
Miami Heat (2-1) at New Jersey Nets (2-0), 1 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Miami Heat will head back up the east coast to take on the undefeated New Jersey Nets this afternoon from the Prudential Center.
Better known as Miami Thrice, the Heat shocked the basketball world when they landed coveted free agents LeBron James and Chris Bosh this offseason to play alongside All-Star Dwyane Wade. The unveiling of Miami's new squad, however, didn't go too well as Boston handed the Heat an 88-80 loss on Tuesday in the season opener for both clubs in Beantown.
The Heat didn't have much time to reflect on the loss and headed for Philadelphia the following night. That's when they recorded a 97-87 victory despite blowing a significant lead in the fourth quarter. Miami then headed home for the first time in 2010-11 and ripped into Southeast rival Orlando for a 96-70 victory Friday night.
Wade scored a game-high 26 points and James added 15 to go with seven assists and six rebounds. Bosh had his first double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Heat, who had a 51-40 edge in rebounds.
"I'm very pleased with the defensive performance for a large part of the game," Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said. "The second half really generated all of our energy and the majority of our offensive opportunities. I'm encouraged by the effort."
New Jersey was an abysmal 12-70 last season and didn't record its first win until December 4, opening the 2009-10 campaign with 18 consecutive defeats. The didn't win their second game until two contests later on December 8 and have posted two wins in two games already this season.
The Nets began the new season with Wednesday's 101-98 victory versus Detroit and made it two straight wins with Friday night's 106-100 triumph over Sacramento. New Jersey has been one of the top scoring teams in the league so far and is unbeaten on a season-opening four-game homestand.
In the victory against the Kings, Brook Lopez was a force with 29 points and six rebounds, while Devin Harris finished with 21 points and 10 assists for New Jersey, which used a big 17-3 run late in the game to take over for good. Travis Outlaw ended with 18 points in the come-from-behind win, despite New Jersey blowing an 18-point lead.
"If you score 106 points and you have 26 turnovers, that's like a summer league game at the rec center," said Nets head coach Avery Johnson. "And you still win? Then that says we're headed in the right direction. That's how I'm going to look at it."
New Jersey will close out its season-opening four-game homestand next week versus the Charlotte Bobcats.
Miami won all four meetings with New Jersey a season ago and is 11-4 in the last 15 meetings.
The Heat have won six of seven and eight of their last 11 at New Jersey.
10/31 10:47:20 ET