Miami Heat vs. New Orleans Hornets
Tip-off: Friday, March 29, 2013 – 8:00 PM ET
New Orleans Arena, New Orleans, LA
The Miami Heat seemed to be ready to focus on other goals not long after ending one of the longest victory streaks in the history of the league. Tonight, Miami can make their YouWager fans proud by achieving one of those, clinching the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and ending a lengthy road losing streak to the New Orleans Hornets.
The Heat (56-15) had their run of 27 consecutive victories snapped with a 101-97 loss versus the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday but hardly seemed oppressed. Miami was really close to matching the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers’ NBA-record 33-game run.
Miami can put itself in a stronger position for another championship run with a win against lowly Hornets (25-47) or a New York Knicks defeat to visiting Charlotte Bobcats on Friday.
The Heat finished second in the East last season before capturing the second title in franchise history, but is currently two games ahead of San Antonio Spurs for the league’s best record.
As online sports betting fans might recall, Miami has earned No. 1 seeds twice in their history, in the 1998-99 lockout-shortened season and in 2004-05. The Heat weren’t able to win an NBA title either time, and were eliminated by the Knicks in the first round in 1999.
Before any postseason worries, the Heat will first try to end a six-game road losing streak versus New orleans. The first two defeat in that skid took place versus the Oklahoma City Thunder.
However, Miami hasn’t visited the Hornets since Nov. 5, 2010, and have won the past three games in the series by an average of 14 points. They shot 58.0 percent in a 106-90 home victory versus New Orleans on Dec. 8.
Dwyane Wade, who came back from a sore right knee Wednesday, had a team-best 26 points for Miami on 9-of-12 shooting and is averaging 27.9 points on 51.8 percent shooting in his last eight games versus the Hornets.