Tonight in the NBA: Heat try for 26th straight win

Tonight in the NBA: Heat try for 26th straight win
March 24, 2013, 12:00 pm
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The Sixers will be back on the court tonight to take on the Kings in Sacramento.

Here's a look at some other notable NBA games to keep an eye on:

Bobcats at Heat, 6 p.m.
MIAMI -- The Miami Heat have won 25 straight games, turning what was a super-close Eastern Conference race into a runaway, and they seem to be finding different ways to prevail on a nightly basis.

And no, they are not particularly thrilled with themselves right now.

From the Heat perspective, it's almost like they are simultaneously slumping and streaking after facing double-digit deficits in three consecutive games, yet finding ways to win them all, much like each of the 22 games that preceded this week.

"I'm taking the world view, that we have room to improve," forward Shane Battier said. "By no stretch of the imagination are we playing our best basketball right now. We're winning ball games, but we have a lot of room for improvement. We have not started well the last couple games and our defensive focus has not been there. It's been there in the second half and when we need it, but we need to do it more consistently."

Even as they move closer to the NBA-record winning streak of 33 straight established by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1971-72, the bigger concern in the Heat locker room is that they are nowhere near a playoff gear with just 14 games remaining before the postseason arrives. They've trailed after five of their past six opening quarters, been losing at halftime in three straight outings and have been outshot in three of their last six contests.

The next opportunity to fix some of those issues comes Sunday at home against NBA-worst Charlotte (16-53), which is 38 1/2 games behind the Heat (54-14) in the East standings.

-The Associated Press

Spurs at Rockets, 7 p.m.
With Tony Parker back, the San Antonio Spurs appear to be in much better shape as they continue their quest for the top seed in the Western Conference.

Parker has also been a big reason why the Spurs have an opportunity to wrap up their first four-game season sweep of the Houston Rockets since 2005-06 on Sunday night.

Following his eight-game absence because of a sprained left ankle, Parker finished with 22 points - including six in overtime - to lead the Spurs to a 104-97 victory over Utah on Friday.

Parker was averaging 27.0 points on 53.4 percent and 7.9 assists in eight games prior to his injury against the Kings on March 1.

-The Associated Press

Nets at Suns, 9 p.m.
The Brooklyn Nets will try to bounce back from the first loss on their lengthy road trip by adding to the Phoenix Suns' recent woes.

The Nets will seek a third straight win over Phoenix on Sunday night while trying once again to cut their deficit in the Atlantic Division.

Brooklyn (40-29) won the first two of its eight straight road games by a combined 54 points before falling 101-95 to the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday. The Nets trailed by only two points with less than 25 seconds remaining but missed two of three shots from 3-point range.

"We needed a couple more free throws or a few less turnovers down the stretch," interim coach P.J. Carlesimo said. "We put ourselves in a position to win the game, and they just did a much better job closing it out than we did."

-The Associated Press

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