NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, January 4th
(All times Eastern)
Miami Heat (24-8) at Orlando Magic (10-22), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Miami Heat will try to shake off a rare home loss
when they visit the Southeast rival Orlando Magic Saturday at Amway Center.
The Heat dropped a 123-114 decision to the streaking Golden State Warriors on
Thursday, as all five starters scored in double digits despite the loss.
LeBron James led the way with 26 points, Dwyane Wade had 22 and Chris Bosh
rounded out the Big Three with 19 points.
Mario Chalmers and Shane Battier scored 17 and 11 points, respectively, for
the Heat, who had won eight of nine games and suffered their first home loss
to a Western Conference opponent this season (5-1). The Warriors grabbed a
109-99 lead at one point until Miami rallied to cut the deficit to 111-107
with less than five minutes to go. The Heat would get no closer than that.
"They're a great basketball team with some all-time great players," Warriors
head coach Mark Jackson said of the Heat. "Tonight, we executed, we battled,
we competed, we made shots and we defended at a high level."
Miami is 10-5 on the road and will play seven of its next nine games away from
Meanwhile, James has shot at least 50 percent from the field in nine straight
games, making 60.7 percent of his attempts over that span. He has scored 10 or
more points in 526 games, matching Moses Malone's mark from 1978-1985.
Orlando has lost five of its last seven games, including Thursday's 87-81
overtime loss at Cleveland. Cavs guard Dion Waiters made the tying layup with
under a second left in regulation and Anderson Varejao scored the last six
points of overtime.
The Magic, who blew a late 78-68 lead, may have thought it would be an easy
one with Cavs star guard Kyrie Irving sidelined with an injury, but shot 38.1
percent for the game and made only 7-of-25 3-pointers. Glen Davis ended with
16 points and 13 rebounds, Jameer Nelson scored 14 points and both Arron
Afflalo and Andrew Nicholson recorded 12 in defeat.
"This one's going to hurt for a little bit," said Magic coach Jacque Vaughn.
Vaughn didn't have center Nikola Vucevic because of an ankle sprain and he is
questionable Saturday. He is averaging 13.4 points and 11.1 rebounds this
After hosting Miami, the Magic, who are 7-10 as the host, will play five in a
row against western conference inhabitants (Clippers, Blazers, Kings, Nuggets,
Orlando lost back-to-back games against Miami in late November and has dropped
seven straight and eight of the last nine games in this series. The two
Southeast foes will meet again March 1 in south Florida.
Miami has lost 10 of 15 and 11 of its last 17 at Orlando, but has won 21
straight games against division foes.
01/04 10:33:32 ET