The Miami Heat still haven't solved their road woes but remain the NBA's best home team. The Heat will try to bounce back from a rough road setback when they stop home for one game against the visiting San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday before heading back out.
Miami started off strong on its three-game trip with a 122-108 triumph at Indiana but followed that by squandering a nine-point lead with just over five minutes remaining in a loss at Brooklyn on Friday and was outscored 40-27 in the fourth quarter by the New York Knicks in a 124-121 setback on Sunday. "We just were not able to protect the rim and they were very persistent with it and that is something that has been troubling us of late," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters. "We need to get back to Miami and get back to work and find solutions. Our defense is clearly much better than what we've shown the last two games." The Spurs are off to a 2-1 start on their four-game trip with wins over East contenders Boston and Toronto. San Antonio climbed out of an 18-point hole on Sunday against the Raptors and got another strong performance from star guard DeMar DeRozan in the 105-104 triumph.
TIME: 7:30 p.m. ET. TV: FS Southwest, FS Sun
ABOUT THE SPURS (17-21): DeRozan scored 25 points on 7-of-12 shooting in 35 minutes on Sunday to record his 11th consecutive game shooting 50 percent or better from the floor. The former All-Star is averaging 27 points on 63.4 percent shooting and 5.5 assists in that span and led San Antonio to five wins in the last eight contests. The Spurs are getting some help on the inside of late from reserve center Jakob Poeltl, who grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds on Sunday to reach double-digits for the first time since Dec. 14.
ABOUT THE HEAT (27-12): Miami, which owns a 17-1 record at home and a 10-11 mark on the road, shot 53.8 percent from the floor on Sunday but allowed the Knicks to go off at 51.7 percent and could not get a stop down the stretch. "We've had a good defensive game maybe twice to three, maybe four times, really, really good defensively," Heat swingman Jimmy Butler told reporters. "Every other time we just outscored opponents. If we're not making shots, it's not looking good." Butler averaged 29 points on 20-of-33 shooting in the two losses and totaled 19 rebounds.
1. Heat PF James Johnson is 12-of-16 from the floor, including 7-of-7 from 3-point range, in his last three games.
2. Spurs PF LaMarcus Aldridge knocked down multiple 3-pointers in seven of the last 10 games.
3. San Antonio, which dropped both meetings last season, is set to host Miami on Sunday.