Nets at Heat
The Brooklyn Nets don’t need to be reminded of their woes in Miami as they arrive to face the Heat on Saturday. The Nets were crushed 103-73 by the Heat on Nov. 7 for their seventh straight loss in South Florida and 11th consecutive loss in the series. Miami is 7-0 at home this season and has won five consecutive games overall. The Heat also possess the best record in the Eastern Conference. Brooklyn also has won five straight contests.
Miami defeated San Antonio on Thursday in the contest best known for San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich sending four key players home to rest. The Heat are averaging 104.6 points during their winning streak. Dwyane Wade scored 22 points and LeBron James had 20 in Miami’s early-season win over Brooklyn. The Nets are 10-2 since the night they were crushed by the Heat. Brooklyn is attempting to complete a sweep of a three-game road trip that includes wins in Boston and Orlando. The Nets are 4-3 on the road.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, YES (Brooklyn), Sun Sports (Miami), NBATV
ABOUT THE NETS (11-4): Brooklyn will be without center Brook Lopez, who has a sprained right foot and will be re-examined early next week. Lopez has been the club’s top player thus far and is averaging 18.5 points and 6.8 rebounds. The Nets plan to be cautious with Lopez after he missed all but five games last season due to foot injuries. Andray Blatche started at center in Friday’s win over the Orlando Magic and had 14 points and nine rebounds. Blatche had 17 points and a season-high 13 rebounds against Boston on Wednesday.
ABOUT THE HEAT (11-3): Veteran guard Ray Allen spearheaded a comeback victory against San Antonio by scoring 11 of his 20 points in the final quarter, including the go-ahead 3-point basket with 22.6 seconds left. Allen has had a couple of strong fourth quarters during Miami rallies, which is exactly what Wade expected would occur. “I’m not surprised,” Wade said. “I am kind of surprised he continues to be open. He’s clutch.” Allen is averaging 13.4 points.
1. James has scored 20 or more points in all 14 games this season.
2. Brooklyn is 10-1 when holding opponents under 100 points.
3. Heat F Shane Battier (knee) is expected to miss his second consecutive game.