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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, April 3rd (All times eastern)

Miami Heat (53-23) at New Jersey Nets (23-52), 6 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Miami Heat hope to inch closer to their first Southeast Division title in four years tonight when they tangle with the New Jersey Nets in the Garden State.

The Heat climbed closer to the crown on Friday in Minneapolis when Dwyane Wade scored half of his 32 points in the pivotal third quarter, as Miami easily dispensed of the stumbling Minnesota Timberwolves, 111-92.

Wade's performance in the third frame helped the Heat pull away thanks to a game-decisive 25-1 run to start the period.

Chris Bosh had 24 points and 11 rebounds while LeBron James added 27 points and 10 assists for the Heat, who are 2-1 in a four-game road trip to the some of the league's worst teams.

"We didn't want them to have the momentum," Wade said. "We came out with energy and tried to put them away. You don't want a team like this hanging around because they have some dangerous players."

Miami can clinch the division for the first time since 2006-07 on Sunday with a win over the Nets and a loss by Orlando, which is playing in Toronto.

The Nets, meanwhile, are coming off a loss in Philadelphia on Friday when Thaddeus Young had 22 points, Elton Brand scored 21 and the 76ers locked up a playoff berth with a 115-90 rout of New Jersey.

Brandan Wright scored 15 points and Mario West added a career-high 13 to lead the Nets, who fell to 1-9 in their last 10. Brook Lopez chipped in 11 points -- the only starter to score in double figures for New Jersey in a lopsided affair at Wells Fargo Center. Deron Williams had a season-low four points.

"We just didn't have that look in our eyes," Johnson said. "We looked tired tonight. Our legs look tired. We're not that happy tonight with our effort."

Miami has won six straight and nine of 10 overall versus the Nets.

04/03 10:45:02 ET


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