ORLANDO (SportsDirect Inc.) — Fresh off an overtime victory on Christmas Day, the Miami Heat get a chance to keep the momentum going when they visit the Orlando Magic on Saturday.
The Heat were strong on the defensive end Friday and will need another top effort on that end against the surging Magic.
Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh scored 13 of the team’s 16 points in overtime of a 94-88 win over the New Orleans Pelicans, giving Miami five wins in the last seven games. Bosh went for 30 points on a season-high 25 shots and is averaging 26.3 points over the last three games.
The former All-Star will have his hands full on the defensive end on Saturday, when he chases Channing Frye, Tobias Harris and Evan Fournier around the perimeter as Orlando spreads the floor.
The Magic enter the contest with five players averaging at least 11.9 points and the team has averaged 105.2 points while going 5-1 over the last six contests.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Sun (Miami), FSN Florida (Orlando)
ABOUT THE HEAT (17-11): The Heat are among the league leaders in scoring defense anchored by center Hassan Whiteside, who racked up 17 rebounds and four blocks in Friday’s win and recorded at least four blocks in each of the last four games. Whiteside leads the league with an average of four blocks and hauled in double-digit rebounds in each of the last eight games while managing to stay out of foul trouble. Whiteside got some help on the boards on Friday, when Bosh grabbed 10 rebounds to snap a string of four straight games in single digits.
ABOUT THE MAGIC (17-12): Whiteside will do battle with Orlando center Nikola Vucevic, who leads the team in scoring (16.7 points) and went for 20 or more in each of the last four contests. “We’ve shown so far that we’ve become a better team, but also teams are now going to treat us differently because we’ve shown that we can win games,” Vucevic told reporters. “So we have to be prepared for that and stay humble. We’ve done some things so far, but we’ve got a long way to go if we want to achieve our goals.” The Magic shot 52.4 percent from the floor in a 104-101 win over Houston on Wednesday, led by Vucevic’s 21 points on 10-of-16 shooting.
1. Heat F Josh McRoberts (knee) sat out the last eight games and remains questionable.
2. Harris is 24-of-37 from the floor in Orlando’s last three wins.
3. Miami took three of the four meetings last season.
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