The New Jersey Nets desperately need a victory to help right the ship before the final few games of the season, but to get it on Sunday in Newark they will have to take down one of the hottest teams in the league in the Miami Heat. The Heat have won 10 of their last 12 games.
A loss to Miami could put New Jersey in the middle of a clinching party for the second time in as many games. Their 115-90 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers helped them clinch a playoff spot and a similar result to the Heat along with an Orlando Magic loss would lock up the Southeast Division for the Big Three.
Against the Sixers, seldom used Brandan Wright scored a team-high 15 points while recently signed Mario West added a career-high 13. Center Brook Lopez only managed 11 points, but had the distinction of being the only starter in double figures. Deron Williams was playing his second game since resting his injured wrist and had just four points.
Kris Humphries missed the game against Philadelphia with an injured heel and ankle and is expected to sit out again on Sunday.
The Heat's last victory, their 53rd of the season, was 111-92 romp over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday. Dwyane Wade led the way with 32 points, including 16 in the third quarter. Chris Bosh had 24 point and 11 rebounds while they third member of the Big Three, LeBron James, had 27 points to go with 10 assists.
Miami has taken six straight and nine of 10 overall against New Jersey.
Next up for the Nets as part of this final stretch will be Tuesday night against the Timberwolves at the Prudential Center.