NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, January 1st (All times eastern)
Charlotte Bobcats (7-19) at Miami Heat (24-7), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Miami Heat target their 14th consecutive win this evening when they start a three-game homestand against the expansion Charlotte Bobcats at AmericanAirlines Arena in the first-ever meeting between these teams.
Miami extended its franchise-best winning streak on Thursday, as Dwyane Wade poured in 31 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and handed out 10 assists to post his first career triple-double in an 89-78 win over the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
It the first triple-double by a Miami player since Lamar Odom accomplished the feat on March 6, 2004 against Sacramento. It was the fifth time in franchise history that a Heat player posted a triple-double
Shaquille O'Neal struggled all night, but still ended with 21 points and seven boards for the Heat, who closed out the month of December with a nearly flawless 14-1 record. O'Neal shot only 9-of-21 from the floor, but was 3-of-4 from the foul line.
Miami's 14 wins in December established a new franchise mark for wins in a month. The previous high was 13 wins set in February 1998.
Udonis Haslem ended with 16 points and seven boards, while Eddie Jones chipped in 11 points for Miami, which improved to 18-2 overall against Eastern Conference foes this year.
Wade has scored more than 20 points in eight straight games and has averaged 27.3 points, 5.4 rebounds and 8.4 assists in that span.
The Heat, who will also host Seattle and New York on its homestand, have won six straight and seven of their last eight in South Beach and are 12-3 at home this season.
Charlotte, meanwhile, has lost four in a row after a 103-97 loss to the Seattle SuperSonics on Friday at Charlotte Coliseum.
Emeka Okafor posted his 18th straight double-double for the Bobcats, who have dropped five of six and nine of their last 12. The rookie finished with a career-high 27 points and 10 rebounds, while Primoz Brezec contributed a season-high 22 points in the loss.
Charlotte slipped to 3-15 this season when netting less than 100 points.
The Bobcats, who will start a brief two-game homestand following tonight's contest, are a dismal 1-12 away from home this season. Their lone road win came back on December 22 in Houston.
01/01 10:36:11 ET