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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, March 26th (All times eastern)

Miami Heat (53-17) at Charlotte Bobcats (14-53), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The NBA-leading Miami Heat go for their 14th win in 15 games this evening, when they take on the expansion Charlotte Bobcats at Charlotte Coliseum.

Miami got back on the winning track on Friday night, tallying an impressive 125-115 victory over the West-leading Phoenix Suns at AmericanAirlines Arena. Dwyane Wade finished with 35 points, nine assists and seven rebounds to lead the Heat, who clinched the Southeast Division title. The Heat picked up their first division title since winning the Atlantic crown in 1999.

Shaquille O'Neal added 25 points and eight rebounds, while Eddie Jones posted 23 points and eight rebounds in the victory. Keyon Dooling added 12 points in the victory and Shandon Anderson had 10.

Miami shot 55 percent from the field, including 9-of-14 (.643) from three- point range. The Heat drained 18-of-21 (.857) from the charity stripe, while outrebounding the Suns, 41-34.

Miami has won 16 straight games at home to tie San Antonio for the longest home winning streak in the NBA this season. Meanwhile, the Heat have won four of five and six of their last nine road tilts. For the year, Miami is 22-12 in foreign buildings.

The Bobcats have actually won two of their last three games, including a 108-94 victory over the Orlando Magic at Charlotte Coliseum on Thursday night. Emeka Okafor recorded his 36th double-double of the season to lead the Bobcats to the victory. Okafor netted 23 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in the contest.

With the win, Charlotte snapped a 12-game road losing streak and notched its first road victory against an Eastern Conference team this season. However, the victory was only the expansion franchise's third in its last 17 games.

Gerald Wallace had 22 points and nine boards, Primoz Brezec contributed 20 points and seven rebounds and Brevin Knight scored 15 points to go along with 15 assists and eight steals in the victory. Knight has posted back-to-back 15 assist games. Jason Hart added 18 points off the pine in the win.

Charlotte shot 45.3 percent from the field, including only 3-of-10 (.300) from three-point range. The Bobcats drained 27-of-34 (.794) from the charity stripe in the contest.

Charlotte won its second season series of the year after improving to 3-1 versus Orlando. The Bobcats also went 2-0 against Houston this season.

The Bobcats, which are beginning a three-game homestand tonight, are 11-22 within their friendly confines this season. Charlotte has lost nine of 12 and 14 of its last 18 home games.

Miami has swept a pair of meetings between these teams this season, winning by an average of 16 1/2 points. The Heat registered a 10-point win at Charlotte on February 11.

03/26 10:07:51 ET


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