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NBA Preview from The Sports Network

Saturday, March 12th (All times eastern)

New Jersey Nets (27-35) at Miami Heat (47-16), 1 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Eastern Conference-leading Miami Heat go for their eighth straight win, as they welcome the New Jersey Nets this afternoon to AmericanAirlines Arena.

This will be the third and final meeting of the season between the clubs. The two previous contests were played at the Meadowlands, as Miami was victorious in both game by large margins.

Overall, the home team has won seven of nine and 10 of the last 14 meetings in this series. The Heat have won four straight over the Nets, who have lost three straight and seven of their last 10 at Miami.

The streaking Heat play the third of a four-game homestand. On Thursday, Shaquille O'Neal scored 33 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead Miami to a 107-90 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Dwayne Wade added 20 points, seven rebounds and three blocks for Miami, which has won 14 of its last 16 overall. Eddie Jones tallied 15 points for the Heat, who have won 11 straight at home.

O'Neal, who also had three blocks, went 10-of-18 from the floor and 13-of-18 from the free throw line, as the Heat used a huge fourth quarter to clinch the victory. He scored 12 points in the final stanza and thwarted Minnesota's Hack-a-Shaq game plan late by hitting 5-of-6 from the stripe down the stretch.

Miami, which is 33-6 when it allows under 100 points this season, is 24-5 in games decided by 10 points or more.

The Heat are an incredible 26-5 as the host this season. Miami will host the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday in the finale of the stand.

The Nets play the third of a four-game road trip. They are 1-1 on the current swing and will finish the trip on Sunday against the Orlando Magic at TD Waterhouse Centre.

Even though New Jersey comes into today's game off a win, it has still lost three of its last four. On Wednesday, Vince Carter scored 24 points and had 10 rebounds to lead the Nets past the New Orleans Hornets, 86-85, in a wild overtime game at New Orleans Arena.

Star guard Jason Kidd added 15 points and nine assists in the win over New Orleans for the Nets, who have lost five of their last nine overall.

New Jersey is 11-21 on the road this season. The Nets are 5-5 in their last 10 as the visitor.

03/12 10:05:54 ET

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