Spurs at Heat
The San Antonio Spurs have built up the best road record in the NBA at 9-1. The Miami Heat have yet to lose at home. Something has to give when the Heat host the Spurs on Thursday. San Antonio has won the first five of its six-game road trip and was able to give stars Tim Duncan and Tony Parker plenty of rest in a blowout of the Orlando Magic on Wednesday. Miami has been waiting around since Saturday.
The Heat have won four straight overall and are leading the NBA in scoring at 104.8 points. LeBron James has been fantastic, but Miami has also benefited from the addition of Ray Allen, who has scored 17 points in each of the last two games and is averaging 12.8 off the bench. The Spurs have their own dynamic scoring threat off the bench in Manu Ginobili and are only slightly behind Miami in scoring at 102.6 points.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, TNT
ABOUT THE SPURS (13-3): San Antonio did not have any player log more than 32 minutes in Wednesday’s 110-89 victory at Orlando and needed Duncan for only 27. The former MVP has gotten off to his best start in years and is contributing on both ends. He had five blocks to go along with 15 points against the Magic. The Spurs have been able to put up big point totals thanks to Parker’s penetration and a host of 3-point shooters. Ginobili went 6-of-9 from beyond the arc on Wednesday and Danny Green, Gary Neal and Matt Bonner are all capable of getting hot from 3-point range.
ABOUT THE HEAT (10-3): Miami can shoot 3-pointers too, with Allen and Mario Chalmers streaking out on the wings, but is also able to play just about any style thanks to James. The reigning MVP continues to round out his game as both a scorer and a distributor. He scored 30 points and the Heat exploded in the last two minutes to avoid a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday. Dwyane Wade, who has been battling a foot injury, will benefit the most from the four-day break Miami has had between games. Wade has played in the last two games but struggled to 6-of-15 shooting and committed four turnovers against the Cavaliers.
1. Miami F Shane Battier (knee) is doubtful for Thursday after missing practice this week.
2. The Heat have taken two straight in the series, including a 120-98 home win in the lone meeting last season. James scored 33 in that matchup.
3. The Spurs have done the bulk of their damage on the road trip without F Kawhi Leonard (knee) and G-F Stephen Jackson (finger). Both will be out on Thursday.