NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, January 7th (All times eastern)
Miami Heat (7-1) at New Jersey Nets (2-6), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Miami Heat are off to a strong start this season and hope to keep it that way when they continue a five-game road trip this evening against the New Jersey Nets at the Prudential Center.
Miami and Chicago share the best record in the league at 7-1, while the Heat kept pace with the Bulls thanks to a 116-109 victory over Atlanta in triple overtime on Thursday. The Heat were without superstars LeBron James (ankle) and Dwyane Wade (foot), but it didn't matter since the other member of the Big Three, Chris Bosh, was healthy enough to carry the load.
Bosh had 33 points and buried the game-tying three-pointer at the end of regulation. He also grabbed 14 rebounds and Mario Chalmers scored 22 of his 29 points from the fourth quarter on for Miami, which has won all four of its road games this season.
"A gutty team win with a capital 'T,' a capital 'E,' a capital 'A' and a capital 'M,'" said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. "Those guys should all be proud of the effort they put in."
Udonis Haslem posted 14 points and 11 boards in a reserve role. Meanwhile, James and Wade are both listed as questionable for tonight's game. James leads the NBA with 29.9 points per game. The Heat will also visit the Warriors, Clippers and Nuggets on the current road swing.
The Heat have won nine consecutive road games dating back to last season and their 7-1 mark through eight games is the best start in team history. The previous best was a 6-2 record, which Miami accomplished on four occasions, most recently during the 2009-10 campaign.
New Jersey put the brakes on a six-game slide with just its second win of the season, a 97-85 triumph up north in Toronto on Friday.
Deron Williams scored a season-high 24 points and dished out nine assists, while Anthony Morrow also scored 24 points and DeShawn Stevenson chipped in 15 points for the Nets, who got six points and 16 rebounds from Kris Humphries.
"In the beginning of the season we as a coaching staff thought we would be a much better three-point shooting team than last year," Nets coach Avery Johnson said. "But we knew as soon as our guys got their game legs they would be there. The star of the game was Stevenson the defense he played on [DeMar] DeRozan was incredible."
The Nets will also host Atlanta on their quick homestand and are still shooting for their first victory at home (0-2). New Jersey center Mehmet Okur (back) left last night's game and is questionable for Saturday.
Miami swept a three-game series with New Jersey a year ago and has won seven straight, 10 of 11 and 14 of the past 18 meetings between the teams. The Heat are unbeaten in the last four games at the Nets.
01/07 10:30:41 ET