Miami Heat at Golden State Warriors (+2, 202)
The Miami Heat have had a tough time on their current road trip and are now dealing with questions surrounding Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh being benched at the end of a loss at Utah on Monday. Perhaps coach Eric Spoelstra was just trying to save the legs of two of his best players for Wednesday, when those two will have to chase around Stephen Curry and David Lee when Miami visits the Golden State Warriors.
Golden State will have its hands full guarding LeBron James, who needs 18 points to become the youngest player in NBA history to reach 20,000 in his career. The reigning MVP has been the bright spot of an otherwise disastrous trip, shooting 55.4 percent in four games as the Heat have dropped three of four. The Warriors have lost three of four as well, marking their worst four-game span since early November. Golden State beat the Heat in Miami on Dec. 12, getting a layup from rookie Draymond Green with 0.9 seconds left to secure a 97-95 win.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, Sun Sports (Miami), Comcast SportsNet Bay Area (Golden State)
ABOUT THE HEAT (24-12): Miami decided to leave Wade on the bench for the entire fourth quarter on Monday as James and the reserves nearly overcame a 21-point deficit before suffering a 104-97 setback against the Jazz. Wade appeared dismayed in his postgame comments, “Coach makes the calls,” he said. “I’m just a player.” Bosh sat for all but 16 seconds of the fourth quarter and struggled on the glass when he was on the floor, pulling down one rebound in 27 minutes. Miami is last in the NBA in rebounding and has seen its offense lose focus of late as well. Monday marked the fifth time in the last six games that the Heat had failed to reach 100 points. Still, Miami has a chance to pull out a .500 trip if it can slip past Golden State and take out the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday.
ABOUT THE WARRIORS (23-13): Golden State got 27 points from Klay Thompson and 22 points and 13 rebounds from Lee in the win at Miami while Curry was held to nine points. Curry is dealing with some knee pain and did not fully participate in practice on Tuesday. The star guard, who hit seven 3-pointers in the 116-105 loss at Denver on Sunday, is expected to play against the Heat. It was the defense that broke down against the Nuggets, allowing 37 points in the fourth quarter to squander an eight-point lead at the beginning of the frame. The Warriors committed seven of their 18 turnovers in the fourth quarter. Golden State can be encouraged by its offensive performance in that game, however, after it was a lack of scoring that did the team in against the Clippers and Grizzlies last week.
* Heat are 1-6 ATS in their last seven road games.
* Warriors are 0-4 ATS in their last four games overall.
* Over is 4-1 in Warriors last five overall.
* Heat are 1-4 ATS in the last 5 five meetings.
1. James (28 years, 17 days) will be the youngest by over a year to reach the 20,000 mark, beating Kobe Bryant (29 years, 122 days). He will be the seventh-fastest in terms of games played, behind Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, Oscar Robertson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elgin Baylor and Allen Iverson.
2. Golden State has taken back-to-back games in the series, including a 111-106 overtime victory at home on Jan. 10, 2012.
3. Miami F Shane Battier (hamstring) has missed three straight games and is questionable for Wednesday.