National Basketball Association
Miami at Charlotte
When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, April 26, 2014
Where: Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, North Carolina
Miami attempts to take a commanding 3-0 series lead on Saturday when the scene shifts to Charlotte and the Heat visit the Bobcats in the first-round Eastern Conference matchup. Miami posted victories by 11 and four points while hosting the first two games as forward LeBron James averaged 29.5 points and 7.5 rebounds. Bobcats center Al Jefferson is averaging 18 points and 11.5 rebounds as he continues to play through a painful plantar fasciitis injury in his left foot.
Charlotte forward Josh McRoberts was fined $20,000 by the NBA for his hard foul on James late in Game 2. James was driving toward the hoop when McRoberts delivered a forearm into the throat of James and the league also upgraded the play from a common foul to a flagrant 2 foul. McRoberts said after the contest that it wasn’t intentional but James wasn’t buying it. “An elbow to the throat, that was the contact,” James told reporters. “It’s not a very good feeling. I was just trying to catch my breath and hopefully it wasn’t too bad.”
7 p.m. ET, ESPN, Sun Sports (Miami), SportSouth (Charlotte)ABOUT THE HEAT:
Veteran guard Dwayne Wade is prospering from the heavy dose of off-days in the series and is averaging 19 points through two games. Wade was plagued by a late-season hamstring injury and his troublesome knees are always a concern but so far he has experienced no issues during the first-round series. “I’m not going to look too far ahead,” Wade told reporters. “I’m just going to continue to take it day to day and game by game in these playoffs, knowing that things could change from each game. The playoff games are very hard on the body so we’ll see. I’m feeling good right now, and I just want it to continue.”ABOUT THE BOBCATS:
Perhaps the most stunning occurrence in Game 2 was that second-year forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist contributed 22 points and 10 rebounds. Kidd-Gilchrist didn’t have a single 20-point outing in the regular season but he was free around the basket on multiple occasions in Wednesday’s loss while going 9-of-13 from the field. His surprise scoring output was timely with Jefferson unable to be the big-time force he typically is and point guard Kemba Walker struggling through a 5-of-18 shooting outing. The Bobcats also need more punch from a bench that was a combined 6-of-16 shooting in Game 2.BUZZER BEATERS
1. Miami has defeated the Bobcats 18 consecutive times, including 17 straight since James joined the franchise.
2. Heat G Ray Allen has just two points on 1-of-8 shooting in the series.
3. Charlotte SG Gary Neal is just 8-of-24 from the field in the first two games.PREDICTION:
Heat 100, Bobcats 94
Stats and Records