(Sports Network) - It's no secret the Miami Heat are arguably the best team in
the NBA and it should come as no surprise they're one win away from capturing
homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs.
The Heat will have to get through a tough Washington Wizards team that has
been playing superb at home as of late, Wednesday from the Verizon Center.
Miami is also one victory shy of setting a franchise record in a single season
and matched the 1996-97 squad with 61 wins Tuesday in a 94-83 decision over
the Milwaukee Bucks. MVP candidate LeBron James had 28 points, seven rebounds
and seven assists, while Norris Cole and Ray Allen scored 11 points apiece off
the bench for the Heat, who are the East's top seed and have won three
straight and five of six games since having a 27-game winning streak halted.
"We'll take it," said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. "A lot of guys contributed.
The second half was good. So, the train keeps on moving. We'll jump on a plane
and do this again tomorrow night hopefully."
Dwyane Wade (ankle) and Chris Bosh (knee) did not play Tuesday and their
status for the Wizards game is unknown.
The Southeast champion Heat, who have won three in a row on the road and are
27-12 as the guest, owns a 13-1 record on the second night of a back-to-back.
They have also produced 38 double-digit victories this season.
In milestone news, James is eight points shy of 2,000 this season.
Washington has ripped off nine straight wins at home and faces a daunting task
Wednesday with the division-rival Heat in town.
The Wizards lost their sixth straight game on the road with Tuesday's 120-99
shellacking at the hands of the red-hot New York Knicks. John Wall paced the
Wizards with 33 points, while Cartier Martin contributed 16 points off the
bench for Washington, which has lost five of eight games.
New York was led by Carmelo Anthony's 36 points and shot 56.3 percent from the
floor. The Knicks buried 20-of-36 3-pointers.
"They shot the ball extremely well," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said of the
Knicks. "They hit 20 threes, they spread the floor and they have guys that can
take you off the dribble. When they're shooting like that, they're a tough
team to beat."
Wall has recorded four 30-point games in his last nine for the Wizards, who
are 22-17 at home and haven't lost in D.C. since March 1 versus New York. The
Wizards will also welcome Philadelphia to town on this quick homestand.
Washington has lost two of three meetings with Miami this season and 14 of the
previous 18 contests between the Southeast inhabitants. The Heat are 14-5 in
the past 19 trips to the nation's capital.
The Sports Network