Bobcats host Shaq-less Heat
(Sports Network) – The Southeast Division-leading Miami Heat close out a
home-and-home set with the Charlotte Bobcats this evening in North Carolina.
Miami, which is 2 1/2 games ahead of Washington in the division and fourth in
the Eastern Conference standings, got a huge lift on Sunday despite suffering
a 111-103 overtime loss to the Bobcats at AmericanAirlines Arena.
Heat All-Star guard Dwyane Wade returned to game action, less than two months
after suffering a dislocated left shoulder. He didn’t start, but finished with
12 points, shooting just 3-of-9 from the field and 6-of-12 from the charity
stripe, while dishing out eight assists.
Alonzo Mourning scored 20 points and Jason Kapono added 19 points for the
Heat, who had a three-game winning streak come to an end. Shaquille O’Neal had
15 points and nine rebounds for Miami.
Shaq (personal) is expected to miss tonight’s contest. O’Neal will attend his
grandfather’s funeral in New Jersey. He is averaging 17.2 points and 7.4
rebounds this season.
Charlotte, meanwhile, has won five of its last seven games. In Sunday’s
overtime win against Miami, Gerald Wallace scored 30 points and Walter
Herrmann hit two big threes in the final minute of the extra session to lift
Raymond Felton had 16 points and Herrmann added 15 for the Bobcats, who have
been eliminated from playoff contention. Emeka Okafor and Brevin Knight scored
13 apiece in the winning effort for Charlotte.
The Bobcats are 19-20 at home this season. In injury news for the squad, guard
Matt Carroll (back) and forward Adam Morrison (knee) are questionable for
Tuesday’s game is the fourth and final meeting between Miami and Charlotte.
The Heat are 2-1 so far in the season series and have won seven of eight and
nine of the 11 all-time matchups.
Miami has won three straight and four of the five meetings at Charlotte.