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Charlotte Bobcats (14-53) vs Miami Heat (53-17)

Starting Lineups:



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Key Matchup:

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Shaq is gonna get his points, no way around it. For us to keep the match close, we'll have to contain Dwyane Wade to under 30 points. He exploded on Joe Johnson last night, so hopefully he's tired
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NBA Preview
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- After a convincing victory over the best team in the Western Conference, the Miami Heat look to avoid a letdown Saturday against the expansion Charlotte Bobcats.

In a matchup of the top two teams in the NBA, Dwyane Wade collected 35 points, nine assists and seven rebounds as the Heat clinched the Southeast Division title with a 125-115 triumph over the Phoenix Suns on Friday.

Shaquille O'Neal added 25 points and Eddie Jones contributed 23 for Miami, which moved one game ahead of Phoenix in the race for the league's best record - and homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs.

The Bobcats will attempt to build on their 108-94 road win over the Orlando Magic on Thursday. Emeka Okafor continued his campaign for the Rookie of the Year Award with 23 points and 10 rebounds and Brevin Knight chipped in 15 points and 15 assists.

Charlotte has won just twice in its last 13 games, with both victories coming against the Magic. The Bobcats have not fared as well against Florida's other team.

Wade scored 26 points on January 1 to lead the Heat to a 113-90 win over the Bobcats in Miami. O'Neal collected 32 points and 12 rebounds on February 11 as Miami posted a 97-87 triumph in Charlotte.
 

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Damn, Haslem is important to that team...

HALFTIME
Miami: 39
Charlotte: 50


Wow, just wow

Carroll has 7 in 9
 

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15 STRONG
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nice win

you are our only division loss, so you can live that up for the Was/Atl/Orl fans...
 

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Very impressive win for the Bobcats! :clap:
 

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LMAO at Wade, did he think they were down by 3 or was he actually trying to win it.

If he thought they were down by 3 that is horrible awareness.
 

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Queensbridge
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Congratulations on the win.

Much too often, the Bobcats end up playing good basketball and not recording a win in their records. Tonight, the Heat looked tired, un-motivated and you guys took advantage of it.
 

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Charge!
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Hey, darn nice win. You accomplished tonight what Phoenix could not get done last night. Maybe it was the home court advantage? Seriously, that was a nice win. Knight puts up 16 assists with only one turnover and the team only had nine turnovers for the whole game with 28 assists. That's takin' care of the ball.

G-Force
 

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Yahoo! said:
There was plenty of blame to go around after the Miami Heat's embarrassing loss to the expansion Charlotte Bobcats.

Shaquille O'Neal took it all on his shoulders.

``This one is my fault tonight,'' he said after the Bobcats beat Miami 94-92 on Saturday night.

``I've got to get the guys more ready. We took them too lightly, and I take the blame. As the leader of the team, it's my job to get the guys fired up. It won't ever happen again.''

Too bad the blame didn't really fall on O'Neal.

``He had 26 points and 16 rebounds,'' Charlotte's Emeka Okafor said of O'Neal. ``I don't know what else he could have done. How much energy can he possibly bring?''

The reality is this one wasn't O'Neal's fault. The Heat were flat from the start and had to play catch-up the entire game.

Then, with a chance to tie it at the end of regulation, Dwayne Wade foolishly attempted a 3-pointer from the corner instead of looking for an easier shot.

His miss had the Bobcats celebrating all over the court, while the Heat filed off the floor in shock as Eddie Jones was in Wade's face lecturing him that the final shot did not have to be a 3.

``He simply did not know the score,'' Heat coach Stan Van Gundy said of Wade. ``He was the only guy who did not know the score.''

Wade, who had 35 points in Miami's 125-115 victory over Phoenix on Friday night, finished with 19 against Charlotte then struggled to explain his final shot.

``Stuff just happened so fast I can't even tell you what I was thinking,'' Wade said. ``When I got the ball, I looked up and was thinking 3, but at the same time it doesn't matter.

``We had an opportunity to win the game. I hit it and I'm the hero, but I missed it and I'm not.''


The Bobcats went almost 3 minutes without a basket and watched the Heat pull to 90-87 during that span. Then Brezec broke the drought with his biggest basket of the game, an off-balance, 18-foot jumper that gave the Bobcats a 92-87 lead with 57 seconds to play.

``I was just trying to win the game,'' Brezec said. ``We've lost so many games in the final seconds. We had to get this one, we led most of the way. I am glad we were able to finish it out.''

Wade hit a pair of free throws for the Heat, who had to foul every time Charlotte got the ball. But Jason Hart and Brevin Knight went 2-for-4 down the stretch to give Miami a chance.

With Charlotte clinging to a 94-91 lead, Hart fouled Wade, who went to the line and made his first free throw with 4 seconds to play. He missed the second and got his own rebound, then tried the 3-pointer.

``I felt it was in,'' Knight said of Wade's shot. ``I was ready to put my head down and say we lost another one. But we finally got a break.''

Gerald Wallace finished with 17 points for Charlotte and Okafor had 12 before leaving with a sprained left ankle late in the third quarter. Jason Kapono had 11 points and Knight had 16 assists.

Despite having just 15 wins in their first season, the Bobcats have made a habit of beating some of the better teams in the league at home. Aside from wins over Minnesota, Houston and Denver, Charlotte also has victories over defending NBA champion Detroit and now the Heat.

This one may have been a question of good timing for Charlotte, which has now won three of its last four games. The Heat were coming in off that emotional victory over Phoenix.

The game against the Suns was for the best overall record in the NBA, and Van Gundy admitted before the Charlotte game that he was worried about a Heat letdown.

He backed off that after the game.

``The back-to-back thing in this league is nothing but an excuse,'' Van Gundy said. ``We simply got outplayed.''
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