Sixers, Heat square off in South Beach
(Sports Network) – The Miami Heat will open a brief two-game homestand when
they host the Philadelphia 76ers tonight at AmericanAirlines Arena.
Miami has lost two of its last three games following a nine-game winning
streak, and suffered a 95-70 setback to the Indiana Pacers on Friday at
Shaquille O’Neal had 13 points for Miami, which is a half game behind the
Washington Wizards for first place in the Southeast Division and sixth overall
in the Eastern Conference. No other Miami player reached double figures.
The Heat will also host Atlanta and are 23-11 in South Beach this season.
Philadelphia put the brakes on a two-game losing streak with Friday’s 106-97
win over the Charlotte Bobcats at the Wachovia Center.
Andre Miller had 19 points, nine assists and six rebounds for the 76ers, who
won for just the second time in six games after a seven-game winning streak.
Willie Green added 18 points and Steven Hunter had 12 points and nine rebounds
in the winning effort.
The Sixers played without Andre Iguodala, who missed the game with a strained
lower back. It was the first game Iguodala missed in his NBA career. Entering
this game, Iguodala had started 232 straight regular season games, which was
the third-longest active streak in the NBA behind Bruce Bowen of the Spurs and
Detroit’s Tayshaun Prince.
Iguodala is questionable for tonight’s game in Miami.
Philly will also visit Washington on the trek and is 9-25 on the road this
season. The Sixers are 4 1/2 games off the seventh and eighth spot in the
Eastern Conference playoff race.
Saturday’s showdown between Philadelphia and Miami is the fourth and final
meeting of the regular season. The Sixers lead the season series, 2-1, but
Miami has won four of the last six encounters.
The Sixers have dropped their last six trips to South Beach.