NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, April 14th (All times Eastern)
Miami Heat (54-26) at Washington Wizards (42-38). 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Miami Heat only have themselves to blame if they miss out on the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
The two-time defending champion Heat need the Indiana Pacers to lose their final game of the season and win both of their games on the schedule to claim the East's No. 1 spot and homecourt advantage.
Miami has lost four of its last six games to fall a half-game behind the Pacers and suffered a 98-85 loss at Atlanta on Friday night. Dwyane Wade, who had missed his last nine games due to a hamstring injury, scored 16 first-half points on a perfect 7-for-7 shooting. He finished with 24 points on a 10-of-14 effort for the Heat.
LeBron James posted 27 points, eight rebounds and five assists in defeat.
"We're trying to make the right plays...but some were careless," James said.
The Heat have dropped two in a row on the road and are 22-18 as the visitor. They will host Philadelphia on Wednesday in the regular season finale.
Washington is currently the sixth seed in the East -- one game ahead of Charlotte and two behind Brooklyn -- and will play its final home game of the regular season.
The Wizards have won two in a row, four of six and six of their last nine games, including Saturday's 104-91 triumph versus the Milwaukee Bucks. Bradley Beal scored 26 points, John Wall added 15 points and eight assists and Marcin Gortat finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Wizards.
"The first half became an up-and-down game. I told them at halftime we've got to get back to five guys pressuring," said Wizards head coach Randy Wittman.
Meanwhile, Wall is averaging 19.1 points and 9.1 assists in his last 28 games. Gortat is posting 16.8 points and 10.2 rebounds in his previous five games and has posted an average of 13.7 points and 12.7 boards in three games against the Heat this season.
Beal is averaging 18.7 points in three meetings with Miami.
James is scoring at a 24.2 ppg clip against Washington, which is 1-2 against Miami this season. Miami is 11-4 in the last 15 games against the Wizards, but has dropped three of the last four trips to D.C.
04/14 10:25:56 ET