The Heat appear to have recovered completely from their rough
stretch in March and tried to damage the New York Knicks' playoff
dreams with a 102-91 home victory on Sunday. Miami is a game up on
the Indiana Pacers for the top spot in the East — two games clear in
the loss column — and will get Indiana at home on Friday after a
tough back-to-back against Brooklyn and at Memphis. The Nets are
still clinging to the hope that they can catch Toronto for the top
spot in the Atlantic Division and homecourt advantage in the first
round. They sit 2 1/2 games back in that race with six left.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, TNT, Sun Sports (Miami)
ABOUT THE NETS (42-34): Brooklyn got Kevin Garnett (back spasms)
back from a 19-game absence on Sunday and the veteran worked his way
into game action with 10 points and four rebounds in 13 minutes
during a 105-101 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. Garnett is not
expected to play on Tuesday but should be back for the second half
of the Florida trip at Orlando on Wednesday and is following a
strict plan to get back in game shape for the postseason.
"Obviously, I'm not where I want to be, but I felt good, I felt
strong," Garnett told reporters. "It's been a journey to get back to
this point, so I'm just trying to contribute at this point."
ABOUT THE HEAT (53-23): Miami is hoping to get one of its own stars
healthy for the playoffs in Dwyane Wade, who has missed the last six
games with a hamstring injury. The Heat are 5-1 in that span, and
LeBron James is carrying the load by putting up at least 32 points
in three of the last four games. The superstar put up 38 points in
Sunday's 102-91 triumph. Miami's best work lately has come on the
defensive end, where they have held opponents to an average of 79.2
points in the last five victories.
[to top of second column]
Nets F Paul Pierce scored 29 points in a 96-95 win at Miami on
Heat F Chris Andersen (knee/back) and C Greg Oden (back) are both
questionable for Tuesday along with Wade.
Brooklyn F Mason Plumlee is 19-for-25 from the field in the last
PREDICTION: Heat 106, Nets 102
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