NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, April 19th (All times eastern)
Charlotte Bobcats (17-63) at Miami Heat (57-23), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Miami Heat could be without All-Star center Shaquille O'Neal this evening, when they host the expansion Charlotte Bobcats at AmericanAirlines Arena.
O'Neal suffered a thigh injury and sat out the second half of Miami's 84-80 win over Indiana at home on Sunday. Shaq could end up missing the final two games of the season.
Eddie Jones scored a team-high 17 points to help the Heat snap a four-game losing streak on Sunday. Jones also grabbed 10 rebounds for Miami. Shaq had 11 points, three rebounds and a blocked shot in 17 minutes of action before exiting.
Damon Jones netted 16 points and hit a crucial three-pointer late, while Udonis Haslem contributed 12 points and 10 boards for the Heat, who beat the Pacers for the first time in 13 meetings.
Miami shot 44.1 percent from the field, including 9-of-19 (.474) from three- point range. The Heat hit 15-of-23 (.652) from the charity stripe and outrebounded the Pacers, 44-38, in the contest.
The Heat, who have locked up the top seed in the East, could play Cleveland, New Jersey or Philadelphia in the first round of the playoffs starting this weekend.
Charlotte has lost two straight on the heels of a two-game win streak, including a 106-104 loss to Washington at the MCI Center on Sunday. The Bobcats have lost 21 of their last 26 games.
Charlotte's Rookie of the Year candidate Emeka Okafor, who left Saturday's loss to New York with a right thigh bruise, did not play. Okafor has been the lone bright spot for Charlotte this season, averaging 15.2 points and 10.8 rebounds. Okafor is questionable for tonight's game.
Charlotte's starting center Primoz Brezec (sprained ankle) sat out the contest, while forward Gerald Wallace (sore left shoulder) left the game early. Brezec and guard Kareem Rush (sprained knee) will be out tonight, while Wallace is questionable.
Matt Carroll scored a career-high 22 points for the Bobcats, who are 4-36 on the road. Charlotte has lost five of six and 17 of its last 19 road games.
Keith Bogans tacked on 19 points, while Brevin Knight registered 13 assists and 11 points. Jason Kapono and Jason Hart tallied 16 points apiece, while Malik Allen tacked on 12 points.
Charlotte shot 50.6 percent from the field, including 2-of-5 (.400) from three-point range. The Bobcats drained 18-of-19 (.947) from the free throw line.
Miami has won two of three meetings between these clubs, but the Bobcats registered a 94-92 victory at Charlotte Coliseum on March 26. The Heat recorded a 113-90 win over the Bobcats at AmericanAirlines Arena.
04/19 10:12:24 ET