New Orleans (35-31) at Miami (30-37)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Miami, FL
Temp: 81° F
  • Game info: 7:30 pm EST Tue Mar 16, 2004
  • TV: SUN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Baron Davis and Lamar Odom, two of the NBA’s top young stars, are making adjustments to their play in anticipation of the playoffs.

The New Orleans Hornets and Miami Heat can only hope the results continue to pay off as they meet for the second time in a week.

Davis, among the NBA leaders in 3-point attempts, is trying to get to the basket more or penetrate to set up teammates. He had 24 points and 11 assists as the Hornets defeated the Golden State Warriors 102-84 Saturday.

“I’ve been trying to drive and get to the line,” said Davis, who three games ago scored 14 points on free throws. “That’s how it’s got to be in the playoffs. It’s got to be all about (getting) to the basket and what team can get the most layups and free throws.”

Davis had nine rebounds, just missing his first triple-double of the season.

The Hornets have attempted more than 20 3-pointers in a game 38 times this season. They attempted only 10 against Golden State.

Hornets coach Tim Floyd, whose team has struggled the past month but now has won two of three, said he hopes the aggressive mentality sticks.

“You’d think we’d figure that out by now,” Floyd said. “When we don’t shoot as many (3-pointers), we shoot it better and get to the line more.”

New Orleans, which beat Miami 95-84 on Wednesday, is in fourth place in the Eastern Conference. The Heat are in a seventh-place tie with the New York Knicks.

Odom’s three field goals all came in the final five minutes Sunday to help the Heat beat the New Jersey 104-95, ending the Nets’ 15-game winning streak against Eastern Conference teams.

Odom was 0-for-6 before he took charge when the Nets cut the margin to four points with five minutes left.

“I’m at the point right now where I’m no longer playing for stats or playing for percentages or worried about how many times I shoot the ball or where I shoot it from,” said Odom, who finished with 15 points and seven rebounds. “That’s what it’s all about right now—finishing games,” he said. “I’m putting stats on the back burner. I just want to win.”

Miami won for the fifth time in six games and improved to 22-12 at home, second only to New Jersey (23-9) in the Atlantic Division.

Eddie Jones led Miami with 23 points, including nine in the fourth quarter. Caron Butler sank just his third 3-pointer this season and scored 18 points.

Miami’s Rafer Alston extended his streak of 3-pointers to 33 consecutive games, tying the franchise record set by Tim Hardaway. It’s the longest streak in the league this season.

Rookie Dwyane Wade, who had come off the bench in the past two games after recovering from a bruised foot, rejoined Miami’s starting lineup and scored 16 points.

STANDINGS (through March 14): Hornets - 3rd place, 14 GB, Central Division. Heat - 2nd place (tied), 11 GB, Atlantic Division.

PROBABLE STARTERS: Hornets - F Stacey Augmon, F P.J. Brown, C Jamaal Magloire, G Davis, G David Wesley. Heat - F Butler, F Odom, C Brian Grant, G Wade, G Jones.

TEAM LEADERS: Hornets - Davis, 23.1 ppg and 7.6 apg; Magloire, 9.9 rpg. Heat - Jones, 17.7 ppg; Odom, 9.8 rpg; Alston, 4.5 apg.


LAST MEETING: March 10; Hornets, 95-84. At New Orleans, the Hornets shot just 35 percent from the field, but tied a franchise record with 42 points on free throws.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Hornets - 13-19 on the road; Heat - 22-12 at home.

INJURIES: Hornets - G Cortney Alexander (Achilles’). Heat - G Bimbo Coles (back); C Loren Woods (back); F Jerome Beasley (back).

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