National Basketball Association
San Antonio at Miami
When: 8:00 PM ET, Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
While San Antonio is close to securing at least sixth place in the Western Conference, Miami hopes to move into the same spot in the East. The teams continue their playoff chase when they meet Tuesday in their first encounter in South Florida since Game 4 of the 2014 NBA Finals. The Spurs, whose magic number to clinch a playoff spot was two entering Monday, have won six of seven after a 103-89 win over Memphis on Sunday, and is 2 1/2 games up on seventh-place Dallas.
The Heat pulled into Monday two games behind Milwaukee in the race for the sixth seed in the East, a coveted spot in that it would likely avoid a first-round matchup with Cleveland. Dwyane Wade scored 40 points to help Miami get past Detroit 109-102 on Sunday, which also left Miami 1 1/2 games up on eighth-place Brooklyn. Kawhi Leonard hit a career-high five 3-pointers en route to 24 points to lead San Antonio to a 98-85 home win against the Heat on Feb. 6.TV:
8 p.m., TNT, FSN Southwest (San Antonio) ABOUT THE SPURS (47-26):
Leonard carried San Antonio down the stretch against the Grizzlies by scoring the team's first 15 points of the fourth quarter en route to 25 points and 10 rebounds, continuing another late-season surge. Leonard averaged 14.7 points on 53.1 percent shooting after the All-Star break last season (11.6 on 51.7 percent prior to the break) before standing out in the postseason, including an outstanding effort in the finals against the Heat. This season, the fourth-year pro has bumped his scoring average from 15.4 before the break to 17.3 after it, while lifting his shooting percentage nearly six percentage points.ABOUT THE HEAT (34-39):
Regardless of where it finishes the season, Miami will not have much of a chance to do any damage in the postseason unless it can get healthy. Big men Hassan Whiteside (hand) and Chris Andersen (calf) have missed the last three games and the Heat had to play the second half against Detroit without forwards Luol Deng (knee) and Michael Beasley (elbow contusion). While Wade - who had fluid drained from his left knee on Saturday - carried Miami on Sunday, veteran Udonis Haslem provided plenty of support with season highs of 18 points and 13 rebounds, his second double-double in the last three games. BUZZER BEATERS
1. Heat SF Henry Walker has 17 made field goals over his last seven games, all of them from 3-point range.
2. San Antonio SG Manu Ginobili is averaging 5.5 points - half his season average - on 36.8 percent shooting in four games since returning from a sprained ankle.
3. The Spurs are averaging 111.6 points in 14 games this month.PREDICTION:
Spurs 105, Heat 101
Stats and Records