Cavs host Heat in Eastern Conference showdown
(Sports Network) – Two teams headed for the playoffs meet this afternoon when
the streaking Miami Heat visit the red-hot Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken
This is the fourth and final meeting of the season between the clubs. In the
three previous contests, Miami swept the two contests at AmericanAirlines
Arena, while the Cavaliers defeated the Heat, 115-107, on December 17th at
Quicken Loans Arena.
Miami has won two straight and five of the last six meetings in this series.
The Heat have lost three of four and four of their last six at Cleveland.
The Heat are No. 2 in the Eastern Conference playoff race, while Cleveland is
the fourth seed. Washington’s loss to Houston on Friday allowed Miami to
clinch the Southeast Division title.
Cleveland enters tonight’s contest on a six-game winning streak. On Wednesday,
All-Star LeBron James poured in 46 points on 16-of-23 shooting as the
Cavaliers defeated the Dallas Mavericks, 107-94, at Quicken Loans Arena and
clinched their first postseason berth since 1998.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas finished with 13 points and nine rebounds in the win over
Dallas for the Cavaliers, who have won 10 of their last 13 games overall.
Donyell Marshall contributed12 points off the bench in the victory.
The Cavaliers are an impressive 27-10 at home this season. They have won seven
in a row as the host.
Miami, which plays the middle contest of a three-game road trip, has won three
straight games. Dwyane Wade had a game-high 37 points to lead the Heat to a
98-94 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday at the Air Canada Centre.
Antoine Walker ended with 18 points and 10 rebounds and Udonis Haslem scored
15 and pulled down 13 boards in the win over Toronto for the Heat, who have
won eight of their last 10 games overall.
The Heat played Toronto without superstar center Shaquille O’Neal, who sat out
the game with a hyper-extended knee. He is questionable for today’s contest.
Shaq is averaging 20.1 points and 9.2 rebounds in 51 games this season.
Miami is 20-16 on the road this season. The Heat are scheduled to visit the
New Jersey Nets on Sunday at Continental Airlines Arena.