MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – The Miami Heat are looking to build some momentum during a season-long 7-game homestand.
After losing five straight games at the American Airlines Arena, the Heat were finally able to end their homeslide despite a depleted roster.
Another home contest against the Philadelphia 76ers could prove to be peskier than expected, given Philadelphia’s recent road play and Chris Bosh being out again.
Miami seeks consecutive home wins for the first time since the beginning of the season Tuesday night against Philadelphia.
The Heat (13-15) snapped a five-game home losing streak with Sunday’s 100-84 win over Boston. They had dropped three by 17-plus points during the skid, which was their longest at home since a seven-game slide from March 5-21, 2008.
They’re 5-9 at home after losing nine home games in 2013-14 and entering the season with an NBA-best 97 home wins since 2011-12.
“We needed a home win bad,” said Mario Chalmers, who had 11 points and 10 assists for his fourth double-double. He had two double-doubles in his previous six seasons.
Miami was without its top two scorers in Bosh and Dwyane Wade. Bosh, averaging 21.6 points per game, missed a fifth straight game with a strained left calf and has been ruled out, while Wade (22.8 ppg) sat out due to a bruised right knee after playing 12 straight.
Luol Deng helped compensate with 23 points and four other players in addition to Chalmers scored at least 10. Miami’s bench, led by a season-high 16 points by James Ennis, had 33 points.
“Everybody stepped up,” Chalmers said. “I think we had six people in double-digits. That’s what we need from everybody, each and every game.”
The Heat are already stretched thin offensively even when Bosh and Wade do play, ranking near the bottom of the league with 94.5 points per game. They could need another well-rounded performance Tuesday with Wade’s status unclear.
“We just figured that it would be best to give (Wade) a little bit more rest,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We’ll evaluate him (Monday) and see how he feels.”
Spoelstra continues to juggle multiple lineups given those absences as well as Josh McRoberts’, who has missed seven games and could be out the rest of the season with a torn lateral meniscus. He has used 13 different starting lineup combinations, including a new one in each of the last four games.
“Now it’s like, ‘This is what it is, this is what our season is,'” Spoelstra said. “Let’s focus on the guys who are available and not feel sorry for ourselves. I like seeing that our guys are coming together.”
Philadelphia (3-23) owns the league’s worst record but has been competitive on the road lately, winning three of its last five. Michael Carter-Williams scored 21 in Sunday’s 96-88 win at Orlando to open a seven-game trip.
Carter-Williams has averaged 20.3 points and 10.0 assists in the 76ers’ three victories.
“It’s always great to win, but when you don’t win that much, it’s even better,” Carter-Williams said. “I’m not sure what it is. When we’re struggling on the road, it’s a little easier for us to come back together because everyone is against us. All we have is each other.”
The 76ers allow 97.3 points per game on the road compared to 108.5 at home, where they’re 0-14.
Bosh had 30 points while Chalmers added 20 in Miami’s 114-96 win at Philadelphia on Nov. 1.
The Heat had won 10 straight home games in the series prior to a 100-87 loss on April 16, a contest both Bosh and LeBron James sat out.
(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
[display-posts category=”heat” wrapper=”ul” posts_per_page=”5″]