NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, February 10th (All times eastern)
Miami Heat (19-7) at Washington Wizards (5-21), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - After getting their six-game road trip off to a poor start, the Miami Heat will dust themselves off for tonight's showdown against the lowly Washington Wizards at the Verizon Center.
The Heat had won three straight and 11 of 13 games before suffering a 102-89 loss at Orlando on Wednesday. Magic All-Star Dwight Howard single-handedly took care of the Heat by racking up 25 points and 24 rebounds, while Dwyane Wade led Miami with a team-high 33 points on 15-of-24 shooting.
"They set the tone of this game right from the get-go," said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. "We were able to get to a little bit more of an aggressiveness and attack in a little bit more of a disposition in the second quarter, but they were able to sustain it longer and more consistently than we were able to."
LeBron James finished with 17 points, 10 assists and six boards for the Heat, who are 7-5 away from South Beach this season and are in the midst of playing 11 straight games against Eastern Conference foes. The Heat are 14-4 against the East this season and will also visit the Hawks, Bucks, Pacers and Cavs on the current road swing. Miami will play its 11th straight conference game versus Orlando at home on Feb. 19.
Heat guard Mario Chalmers did not play against the Magic because of a sprained left hand and is listed as questionable for Friday. In other team news, Wade has scored 20 or more points in a season-high six straight games and posted the 5,000th field goal of his career in Cleveland on Tuesday for the Heat, who are trying to match the best 27-game start in team history. The previous 20-7 records occurred in both 1996-97 and 2004-05.
Chris Bosh had 12 points and nine boards against the Magic, and was recently named as a reserve for the Eastern Conference All-Star team.
The Wizards will wrap up a three-game homestand this evening before embarking on a five-game road trip and suffered their fifth loss in six tries with Wednesday's 107-93 setback to the New York Knicks.
John Wall netted a game-high 29 points and Trevor Booker added 17 for the Wizards, who shot 45.8 percent and got eight points and nine rebounds from JaVale McGee. Maurice Evans had nine points and Nick Young only scored seven in defeat.
"This game boiled down to containment," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. "We couldn't contain the basketball basically all night long."
Washington is only 4-16 against Eastern Conference opponents this season and a lowly 5-21 overall. Wall is averaging 22.3 points and 6.0 assists in his last four games for a Washington team that could be without Rashard Lewis for a third straight game. Lewis is bothered by a sore right knee and is just four points shy of reaching the 15,000-point mark in his career. He will eventually join Paul Pierce and Jason Kidd as the only players in NBA history who have scored at least 15,000 points, grabbed 5,000 rebounds and hit 1,500 three- pointers in their careers.
Tonight's game is the first of three meetings between the Wizards and Heat. The two teams will meet on April 21 in Miami and again on April 26 in Washington. The Heat won last season's series, 4-0, and have won five straight and 11 of the past 12 matchups between the teams. Miami has won six in a row at the Verizon Center, where the Wizards are 4-11 this season.
Young averaged 27.0 ppg in three games versus the Heat last season, while James had averages of 30.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists in four matchups with Washington in 2010-11. Wade averaged 30.0 ppg in four games against the Wizards a year ago.
02/10 10:39:57 ET