Houston At Miami
When: 3:30 PM
ET, Sunday, March 16, 2014
Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
The Miami Heat are experiencing their worst stretch of the season and will try to regain their touch when they host the Houston Rockets in Sunday’s nationally televised contest. Miami has lost five of its last six games and is threatening to fall out of the derby with the Indiana Pacers for top seed in the Eastern Conference. Houston was playing superbly until losing its last two games and is in fourth place in the Western Conference.
The recent slide is easily Miami’s worst stretch of the season and it began with a 106-103 loss to Houston on March 4. Center Chris Bosh was highly disappointed after the Heat lost to the lowly Denver Nuggets 111-107 on Friday. “Five out of six, to our standards, that’s unacceptable,” Bosh told reporters. “We know we’re better than this. We have to do a better job. We have to have better urgency.” The Rockets are wrapping up a three-game trip that began with losses to Oklahoma City and Chicago.
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC
ABOUT THE ROCKETS (44-21): Houston lost just twice in a 17-game span prior to the consecutive setbacks and hasn’t dropped three straight games all season. The Rockets were routed by the Bulls 111-87 on Thursday and shot just 35.4 percent from the field and 5-of-26 from 3-point range in an effort that greatly disturbed coach Kevin McHale. “We did not come out ready to play,” McHale said afterward. “I have no idea why. You have to ask them. We did not offensive or defensively start the game. We were walking it up, not running.”
ABOUT THE HEAT (44-19): Forward LeBron James hasn’t scored more than 23 points in any game during Miami’s recent down stretch. James had failed to reach 20 points in three of the six outings and is just 5-of-21 from 3-point range. The superstar hasn’t posted a double-double since Feb. 12, and his career-high 61-point outing against the Charlotte Bobcats on Mar. 3 marks the only time this month he has scored more than 30 points. James had 22 points but just one rebound in the recent loss to Houston.
1. Houston has lost in each of its last four visits to Miami.
2. Heat G Dwyane Wade has exceeded 20 points in eight of the last 10 games.
3. The Rockets trio of G James Harden (2-of-7), SF Chandler Parsons (1-of-11) and PF Terrence Jones (1-of-7) combined for 12 points on 4-of-25 shooting in the loss to the Bulls.
PREDICTION: Heat 111, Rockets 106
Stats and Records
Miami Off vs
103.9 Points For
101.8 Points Against