NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, March 20th (All times eastern)
Phoenix Suns (23-22) at Miami Heat (33-11), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - It's been almost two months since the Miami Heat lost a game at home and the star-studded squad will try to extend their impressive run in South Beach with tonight's showdown versus the improved Phoenix Suns.
Miami has reeled off 13 consecutive victories at AmericanAirlines Arena and improved to an NBA-best 19-2 as the host with Sunday's 91-81 triumph over the Southeast Division-rival Orlando Magic. Dwyane Wade led the way with 14 of his game-best 31 points in the fourth quarter and Chris Bosh tallied 23 points and seven rebounds for the Heat, who have won two in a row overall and five of their last seven games.
"My teammates did a good job of finding me in different places, but I was very aggressive as well," Wade said of his big fourth quarter. "I was just trying to do what I'm able to do to help us win."
LeBron James filled the stat sheet with 14 points, 12 boards, seven assists and five steals for the Southeast-leading Heat, who are on their longest home winning streak since a 14-game run from Jan. 22-March 16, 2007. Miami is seeded second in the Eastern Conference behind the Chicago Bulls and will begin a three-game road trip Friday against Detroit, Oklahoma City and Indiana. Miami hasn't lost in south Florida since a 91-82 setback versus Milwaukee on Jan. 22.
The Heat are 7-5 against the Western Conference this season (4-0 at home), as opposed to a 26-6 mark against the East.
Phoenix has turned up the heat lately with four straight wins and 11 over the last 14 games, and will begin a four-game road trip tonight against Miami, Orlando, Indiana and Cleveland. It is 8-12 as the guest this season.
The Suns recorded their third straight win in the desert with Sunday's 99-86 decision versus the Houston Rockets, as Michael Redd poured in 25 points on 10 of 13 shooting from the bench and Marcin Gortat added 15 points and 10 rebounds for Phoenix, which shot 47.1 percent for the game and moved over the .500 mark for the first time.
"I just go out and play and see what happens," said Redd. "Tonight it just happened to be a night of scoring, some nights it may be distributing, whatever the team needs."
Channing Frye had 19 points and Steve Nash dished out 11 assists for Phoenix, which is 8-1 at home since the All-Star break. The Suns are 9-2 overall since the break and pulled within a half-game of Houston for the eighth and final postseason spot in the West. Utah is also tied with Phoenix.
Phoenix will face the Heat for the first time this season and was swept in last year's home-and-home set. Miami has won three in a row and six of the last seven meetings between the teams.
03/20 11:42:36 ET