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News » Heat-Pacers Preview 2009-01-29

Heat-Pacers Preview 2009-01-29

Heat-Pacers Preview 2009-01-29
The Miami Heat overcame poor shooting and a subpar game from star guard Dwyane Wade to win their last time out. They might need a more complete performance to end their road losing streak against the Indiana Pacers.

The Heat look to match a season high with their fourth straight win by snapping a seven-year losing streak at Conseco Fieldhouse on Friday when they visit the Pacers, who hope to have Danny Granger back in the lineup as they try to remain undefeated at home this month.

Miami (25-19) shot 39.0 percent from the field Wednesday night and Wade, who entered the game averaging a league-high 28.9 points, was held to 14 and 6-for-16 shooting. The Heat, though, played solid defense and cruised to their third straight win, 93-71 over Washington.

"Our activity level was consistent pretty much the whole way through," said coach Erik Spoelstra, whose team has won four straight twice this season. "That's what we're looking for."

Though it was Wade's second-lowest scoring performance of the season, he was instrumental in Miami's 21-6 run at the end of the third quarter that put the game away.

"He impacted the game and he only had 14 points," Spoelstra said.

Spoelstra's Heat, though, might need a better outing from Wade to snap their losing streak in Indianapolis. Including the postseason, Miami has lost 15 straight games at Conseco Fieldhouse since an 89-87 victory Dec. 31, 2001 - a year and a half before the Heat drafted Wade.

Miami may be making its first trip to Indiana (18-28) this season at the wrong time. After going 6-9 at home before this month, the Pacers are 6-0 there in January.

"I think we're starting to get a home-court advantage," coach Jim O'Brien said after a 107-99 win over Milwaukee in the opener of a four-game homestand Wednesday night.

Granger, who ranks among the league leaders with 25.8 points per game, missed that victory because of a sore right knee. He's day-to-day.

"There is no guarantee he'll be back Friday," O'Brien said. "But it's something that should get better with rest."

Without Granger on Wednesday, point guard T.J. Ford matched a career high with 34 points while going 14-for-21 from the field.

"Knowing that he was out, scoring had to come from somewhere," said Ford, whose previous 34-point performance came with the Bucks on April 5, 2006. "I just came out and tried to be aggressive."

Ford, who has missed significant time in his career because of a spinal condition and suffered from back spasms earlier this month, didn't seem bothered Wednesday.

"I'm able to get back to playing my style, to be aggressive and make cuts and certain moves," he said. "I'm not limited anymore."

The Heat won their first meeting with the Pacers 109-100 at home on Nov. 22 behind 38 points and eight assists from Wade, who was 15-for-24 from the field. Wade's scored at least 30 points in eight of his last 13 games against Indiana.

Granger had 23 points in the November loss to Miami, while guard Marquis Daniels scored 25.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: January 29, 2009


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