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National Basketball Association
Preview
Miami at New Orleans
When: 8:00 PM ET, Friday, February 27, 2015
Where: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana

Teams playing without key players meet Friday when the Miami Heat visit the New Orleans Pelicans. The Heat are still reeling from the loss of Chris Bosh (blood clots in his lung) while the Pelicans are making due without All-Star Anthony Davis, Ryan Anderson and Jrue Holiday for the near future. The Heat have managed to win three of four without Bosh to remain in the seventh slot while the Pelicans have won three straight as they continue to chase Oklahoma City for the eighth spot in the West.

Quincy Pondexter scored a career-high 25 points, including a 3-point dagger late in New Orleans' 102-96 win against Brooklyn on Wednesday. “(The media) counted us out (because of the injuries). We’re not going to lay down just because a couple guys get hurt," Pondexter said. "I’ve had experience where Marc (Gasol) goes out, (Zach Randolph) goes out. You know what? You still have to lace them up and still go play. So why not give your best effort and see what happens?” Miami rallied from eight down in the final minute of regulation for a 93-90 win over Orlando on Wednesday as Luol Deng scored 21 points and Hassan Whiteside added 15 and 13 rebounds.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN, SunSports (Miami)

ABOUT THE HEAT (25-31): Swingman Henry Walker, who signed a 10-day contract this week, made two big 3-pointers late in regulation, one with 2.1 seconds left to tie, and finished with 10 points against Orlando. “I just wanted to stay aggressive and take shots that I know I can hit and play within myself,” Walker said. “Those guys do such a good job of creating for me and looking for me, and it was just a matter of time before I hit those shots." Miami is completing a brief two-game road trip before playing nine of its next 11 at home with a chance to solidify its playoff positioning.

ABOUT THE PELICANS (30-27): Pondexter, who shot 3-of-12 from the field in his previous two games, connected on 9-of-13 against the Nets. Another newcomer, Norris Cole, has provided help at the point with Holiday out, scoring in double figures in his first three games since joining the club. Despite all the firepower sitting on the sidelines injured, the Pelicans have reached 100 points in three straight games after failing to do so in four consecutive contests.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. In the game that both Davis and Anderson got injured last Saturday, the Pelicans beat the Heat 105-91 in Miami behind 24 points and six assists from Eric Gordon.

2. Whiteside is averaging 13.9 rebounds in his last 12 games since Jan. 25 - second best average behind Los Angeles Clippers C DeAndre Jordan (15.9) during that span.

3. Heat G Goran Dragic is averaging 14.3 points and 5.3 assists in his first three games with the Heat.

PREDICTION: Pelicans 101, Heat 97
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Miami 25-31 W2 10-16 15-15 4-2 21-29 4-7 18-16
New Orleans 30-27 W3 19-10 11-17 4-2 26-25 6-4 19-14
Last Meeting
Miami New Orleans
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
2/21/15 NO 105 MIA 91 91 45 41.8 105 41 42.2
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Miami M. Chalmers 20 69.2 0
New Orleans E. Gordon 24 38.9 4
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Miami H. Whiteside 16 6 10
New Orleans O. Asik 9 2 7
Assists Player  
Miami C. Andersen 4
New Orleans T. Evans 6
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Miami C. Bosh 1060 46.4 214
New Orleans A. Davis 1256 54.7 285
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Miami C. Bosh 361 55 306
New Orleans O. Asik 576 186 390
Assists Player  
Miami M. Chalmers 250
New Orleans T. Evans 371
Quickchart Matchup
Miami Off vs  New Orleans Defense
93.5 Points For
99.4 Points Against
45.5 FG%
45.9 FG%
38.4 Reb
41.2 Reb
New Orleans Off vs  Miami Defense
99.7 Points For
96.7 Points Against
45.4 FG%
45.6 FG%
41.2 Reb
40.2 Reb