NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, January 28th (All times eastern)
Miami Heat (31-13) at Atlanta Hawks (8-32), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Miami Heat will try to string together back-to-back wins for the first time since January 5-7 tonight, when they tangle with the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena.
Miami has rotated wins and losses over its last eight contests, including an 111-96 thumping of the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre on Wednesday. Shaquille O'Neal scored 33 points with 18 rebounds to lead the Heat to the victory.
O'Neal was 13-of-19 from the field and just 7-of-20 from the free throw line. Dwyane Wade added 16 with 10 assists for the Heat, who have won eight of their last 10 games against Toronto, while Eddie Jones added 23 points for Miami. Rasual Butler rounded out the double digit scorers for Miami with 14 points and seven rebounds.
The Heat burned up the nets in the win, draining 53.4 percent of their shots, including 4-of-11 (.364) from three-point range. Miami did struggle from the charity stripe, draining 29-of-49 (.592) from the free throw line.
The Heat signed free-agent forward Qyntel Woods, waived forward Jerome Beasley and placed Wesley Person on the injured list before the game. Woods won't play for the Heat until his current five-game suspension ends. The forward was waived Friday by the Portland Trail Blazers after admitting in court that he mistreated his dog.
Miami forward Christian Laettner has missed the last two games due to plantar fasciitis. Laettner is questionable for this evening's contest.
Miami, which is finishing up a three-game road trip, is 15-8 in foreign buildings this season. The Heat have dropped four of their last six road tilts. Miami is 9-0 against the Southeast Division and 22-4 versus the Eastern Conference.
While the Heat own the best record (31-13) in the Eastern Conference, the Hawks own the worst mark (8-32). Atlanta has dropped 17 of 21 and 18 of its last 23 games, including a 104-87 defeat to Minnesota on Wednesday night.
Al Harrington had 17 points and 12 rebounds for Atlanta, which dropped its ninth straight game on the road and fell to 2-16 away from home this season. Antoine Walker added 15 points in defeat, while Tyronn Lue had 13 points in the losing effort. Tony Delk posted 12 points in the defeat.
The Hawks hit 42.5 percent from the field, including 4-of-13 (.308) from the three-point range. Atlanta drained 15-of-21 (.714) from the charity stripe, while outrebounding the T'Wolves, 40-38.
Atlanta, which has two of its next three games at home, is just 6-16 at Philips Arena this season. The Hawks are just 1-7 against Southeast Division and only 5-20 versus the East.
Miami has won all three meetings between these clubs this year, including a 99-93 victory at Philips Arena on Nov. 24. The Heat have won six straight, nine of 10 and 10 of the last 12 meetings in this series, including two straight on the road.
01/28 10:21:23 ET