The Miami Heat and New York Knicks know a thing or two about winning at home. After all, the Eastern Conference leaders collectively have won all 15 such contests this season. The Heat, who are 8-0 at AmericanAirlines Arena, will have the home-court advantage on Thursday, when the Knicks pay a visit for a nationally televised game.
The Heat likely are still massaging their ego after woe-begotten Washington doubled its season win total at their expense. New York extended its winning streak to four games on Wednesday as J.R. Smith drilled a step-back jumper as time expired for a 100-98 triumph over Charlotte. Carmelo Anthony finished with 23 points before receiving stitches on the middle finger of his left hand after diving into the bench to save a loose ball. His status for Thursday is unknown, however, head coach Mike Woodson did tell reporters, “He’s going to play. He’ll be ready to play."
TV: 8 p.m. ET, TNT
ABOUT THE KNICKS (13-4, 11-6 ATS): Coach Mike Woodson insisted after Wednesday's contest that Anthony would be able to play versus Miami. The electric forward cooled off the Heat with a team-high 30 points and 10 rebounds in New York's 104-84 victory on Nov. 2. As for Wednesday, Jason Kidd returned following a four-game absence due to lower back spasms. The veteran guard came off the bench to score seven points but logged nearly 25 1/2 minutes to provide a jolt for the Knicks.
ABOUT THE HEAT (12-4, 7-9 ATS): The inexplicable loss to Washington snapped a six-game winning streak for Miami. LeBron James did his best to put the setback in perspective, although his pair of missed 3-point attempts in the waning moments could have altered the outcome. Dwyane Wade insisted that the Heat will have no problem getting up for Thursday's tilt. "It'll be a good game for us," Wade said. "It's a game that we all look forward to. Obviously, we want to play better, and it's a good time for it (facing the Knicks)."
* Under is 10-2-1 in the last 13 meetings.
* Home team is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings.
* Favorite is 6-2 ATS in the last eight meetings.
* Knicks are 2-6 ATS in the last eight meetings.
* Knicks are 0-4 ATS in the last four meetings in Miami.
1. New York is off to its best 17-game start to a season since the 1995-96 campaign. It also was 13-4 during that campaign.
2. Wade had 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field in the teams' first meeting. While it's an impressive performance to be certain, Wade has averaged 27.9 points in 25 career games versus New York.
3. The Knicks played their fourth game without C Marcus Camby, who is being plagued by plantar fasciitis in his left foot.
Dallas Mavericks at Phoenix Suns (-3, 199.5)
The Dallas Mavericks try to shake off an awful start to their road trip Thursday, when they take on the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center. Dallas began its three-game trek Wednesday in Los Angeles, where it thoroughly was thrashed in a 112-90 loss to the Clippers. The Mavericks never led as they allowed the first seven points of the game and fell behind by as many as 24 late in the fourth quarter.
Phoenix returns home from a 1-5 road trip during which it lost the last four contests. After splitting the first two games of the trek, the Suns suffered a 40-point loss in Detroit on Nov. 28. They dropped close decisions in Toronto and New York before concluding the trip with a 10-point overtime setback to the league-leading Grizzlies in Memphis on Tuesday. Phoenix led by as many as 16 points before Rudy Gay forged a 94-94 tie with 15.9 seconds remaining in regulation.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, FSN Southwest (Dallas), TNT
ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (8-10, 7-11 ATS): Dallas trailed by 11 points after one quarter in Los Angeles on Wednesday but began the second with a 9-0 run to get within 29-27. That was as close as the Mavericks would get as they were down 18 points at halftime and never got the deficit to single digits in the second half. Guard O.J. Mayo entered the game against the Clippers second in the league with a 52.7 percent shooting efficiency from beyond the arc, went 0-of-4 and has gone without a 3-pointer in three of his last five contests.
ABOUT THE SUNS (7-12, 6-12-1 ATS): Phoenix has not had much success against Dallas of late, losing eight of the last nine meetings between the teams. In fact, the Suns snapped an eight-game skid in the all-time series in their last encounter as they posted a 96-94 triumph at US Airways Center on March 12. It was the team's second win in the last 13 matchups and snapped its three-game home losing streak against the Mavericks. Center Marcin Gortat has started 96 consecutive games and appeared in all 140 contests since being acquired by the Suns from Orlando on Dec. 18, 2010.
* Favorite is 9-1 ATS in the last 10 meetings.
* Mavericks are 8-1 ATS in the last nine meetings.
* Under is 5-1 in the last six meetings.
* Home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings.
* Over is 8-3 in the last 11 meetings in Phoenix.
1. Gortat leads the Suns with six double-doubles.
2. Mavericks rookie F Jae Crowder is 3-of-26 from the field over his last four games.
3. The Suns have trailed by double digits in 15 of their 19 contests this season.