(Sports Network) - The Miami Heat will put a three-game winning streak on
the line Friday night when they host the road-weary and injury-plagued Los
Friday will be the third game of a five-game homestand for the Heat, who took
the first two in gutty fashion. The Charlotte Bobcats gave Miami all it could
handle in a 99-94 win on Monday, then the Heat held off the Houston Rockets
114-108 on Wednesday.
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade both went for 30-plus on Wednesday with James
scoring 32 points and Wade 31. The Heat were without the services of Chris
Bosh, who missed the game with the flu.
"We understand we have to pick up the load," said James, who notched his third
straight 30-plus scoring game. "We just know. You don't need to talk about it,
you just do it."
James tallied his 5,000th point as a member of the Heat on Wednesday, becoming
the ninth Heat player to hit that milestone number.
The Heat have won five straight at home and ran their record in
AmericanAirlines Arena to 20-3, which equals the Indiana Pacers for best home
record in the East.
Miami will have revenge on its mind Friday night. The Heat fell to the
Clippers, 107-100, on Nov. 14 at the Staples Center when Blake Griffin had 20
points and 14 rebounds and Chris Paul netted 16 with 10 assists.
Both of L.A.'s All Stars have been out of action recently. Paul has missed 12
of the last 14 games with a bruised right kneecap and Griffin has sat out the
last two with a hamstring injury. Their availability for Friday night is
With both of those players out, as well as second-leading scorer Jamal
Crawford, who sat with a sore shoulder, the Clippers ended a three-game losing
streak against the lowly Orlando Magic on Wednesday.
Eric Bledsoe, who starts in place of Paul, went off for a career-high 27
points and Ryan Hollins and D'Andre Jordan tallied 13 apiece in the Clips'
Los Angeles trailed in the first half, but held the Magic, who were without
three of their leading scorers as well, to 34 points in the second half.
The Clippers are on their annual Grammy road trip and have gone 2-3 on the
odyssey so far. They have two more games after Friday, a Sunday afternoon tilt
in Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks, and a Monday night
battle with the 76ers in Philly.
"I think fortunately we took care of business earlier in the year, so we have
a little bit of a cushion," said Grant Hill. "But all of sudden you lose a
couple of games and you could go from first to fourth in the West. It is
tough, these dog days, you're on the road, banged up, sick, hurt. You've just
got to find a way."
The Clippers haven't won in Miami since March 10, 2008.
The Sports Network