NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, December 22nd (All times eastern)
Utah Jazz (14-13) at Miami Heat (17-6), 7;30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Miami Heat will take a three-game winning streak back home Saturday night when they host the Utah Jazz at AmericanAirlines Arena.
The Heat defeated the Washington Wizards and Minnesota Timberwolves at home, then went to Dallas and pummeled the Mavericks on Thursday night, 110-95.
The Heat have scored over 100 points in 10 of their last 12. That proves they are a great offensive team, fourth in the NBA in fact, but the defense has been lacking through most of the season.
Miami ranks 16th in opponents' scoring, which is an improvement. They haven't allowed a team to crack the century mark in points since a Dec. 6 loss to the New York Knicks.
The Heat jumped out on the Mavs Thursday, winning the first quarter 31-20, They took a 16-point lead into halftime and were never threatened. LeBron James led the way with 24 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Dwyane Wade chipped in 19 and Chris Bosh had 17.
"We don't want to give a team too much confidence at home. We understand this team was short-handed," Wade said. "We wanted to come out here on the road and make a statement."
The Heat are 2-12 at home and that bodes well for Saturday night when you compound that number with the Jazz' 5-11 road mark.
Utah is in the middle of a four-game road trip and is 1-1 on the excursion thus far. The Jazz came from behind to beat the Brooklyn Nets, 92-90 on Tuesday, then fell to the Indiana Pacers, 104-84 on Wednesday.
Derrick Favors led the way for the Jazz against the Pacers with 16 off the bench. Alec Burks netted 12 in a reserve role and Mo Williams was the lone starter in double-figures with 11.
The other four starters - Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Marvin Williams and Randy Foye - combined for 24 points on 9-for-30 shooting.
The Jazz shot 37.2 percent from the field and a putrid 13.3 percent from the 3-point line. Mo Williams and Foye each made one 3-pointer for Utah.
"It was one of those games where we just didn't have it, we didn't make shots," Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin said. "I'm disappointed in our performance."
The Jazz finish their eastern swing on Sunday with a game in Orlando against the Magic.
The Jazz won last season's only matchup, a 99-98 victory in Salt Lake City. Utah has won in Miami only once since the 2002-03 season. The Heat are 12-4 in their last 16 against the Jazz.
12/22 10:42:52 ET