Indianapolis Star
National Basketball Association
Preview
Miami at New Orleans
When: 7:00 PM ET, Sunday, December 16, 2018
Where: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana

The New Orleans Pelicans haven't managed to get a winning streak off the ground in nearly a month but could change that with a victory over the visiting Miami Heat on Sunday. The Pelicans, who traded wins and losses over the last 10 games, have not won back-to-back games since a three-game streak from Nov. 16-19.

The Pelicans began their two-game homestand with a 118-114 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday as superstar forward Anthony Davis exploded for 44 points and 18 rebounds. "We're hard to stop, especially when (Davis) has (44)," point guard Jrue Holiday told reporters. "I think with me and (Julius Randle) just complimenting him and being aggressive – a little bit of a short bench, but I think people came in and gave good minutes. Andrew (Harrison) did. Frank (Jackson) did as well, but defensively I think we did alright. Still some things we've got to improve on, but from this win we can get better." The Heat are trying to clinch a winning six-game road trip and bounced back from a 111-84 loss at Utah on Wednesday by digging in and out-grinding the Memphis Grizzlies in a 100-97 triumph Friday. "This was much more to our identity, win lose or draw," Miami coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters after the victory. "Whenever there's blood, it's usually good for us."

TV: 7 p.m. ET, FS Sun (Miami), FS New Orleans

ABOUT THE HEAT (12-16): Small forward Derrick Jones Jr. is being given a more prominent role in the Miami rotation during the road trip and grabbed double-digit rebounds in two games at Los Angeles before helping out with 13 points and eight boards in Friday's victory. "I always harp on my defense and want to be the lockdown defender our team needs," Jones told reporters. "(But) if I get open shots, I'm going to take them. If I get open dunks, I'm not going to pass up on those." Jones was one of three reserves to score in double figures in the win, along with Kelly Olynyk (18 points) and Tyler Johnson (17).

ABOUT THE PELICANS (15-15): New Orleans was shorthanded on Wednesday and leaned heavily on Davis, Holiday and power forward Julius Randle, who combined for 86 points, 35 rebounds and 15 assists. "It's who we are," Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry told reporters. "It's not like we depend on them to carry the load. They are the load. It's who we're going to go to. I thought (Davis) was absolutely great tonight. I thought Julius was really good. Jrue defensively, once again, was really good." Randle is on a tear of late and is averaging 26.7 points on 58.9 percent shooting over the last six contests.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Pelicans PF Nikola Mirotic (ankle) is likely to miss his second straight game while SG E'Twaun Moore (leg) could return from a two-game absence.

2. Heat C Hassan Whiteside returned from a four-game absence due to the birth of his child on Friday and contributed six points and seven rebounds in 22 minutes.

3. Davis scored 41 points at Miami on Nov. 30, but New Orleans still fell 106-101.

PREDICTION: Pelicans 113, Heat 105
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Miami 12-16 W1 5-9 7-7 0-0 12-16 1-7 5-12
New Orleans 15-15 W1 11-4 4-11 2-0 13-15 3-2 8-9
Last Meeting
Miami New Orleans
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
11/30/18 NO 101 MIA 106 106 46 43.0 101 46 42.7
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Miami J. Richardson 20 36.4 1
New Orleans A. Davis 41 65.2 9
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Miami B. Adebayo 11 4 7
New Orleans J. Randle 10 2 8
Assists Player  
Miami D. Wade 6
New Orleans T. Frazier 9
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Miami J. Richardson 553 41.3 94
New Orleans A. Davis 810 50.2 206
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Miami H. Whiteside 362 102 260
New Orleans A. Davis 361 97 264
Assists Player  
Miami J. Richardson 102
New Orleans J. Holiday 284
Quickchart Matchup
Miami Miami Off vs  New Orleans New Orleans Defense
Miami Off vs New Orleans - Points For 107.0 Points For
Miami Off vs New Orleans - Points Against 115.5 Points Against
Miami - FG% 43.3 FG%
New Orleans - FG% 46.7 FG%
Miami - Reb 47.2 Reb
New Orleans - Reb 43.6 Reb
New Orleans New Orleans Off vs  Miami Miami Defense
New Orleans Off vs Miami - Points For 117.4 Points For
New Orleans Off vs Miami - Points Against 108.1 Points Against
New Orleans - FG% 48.0 FG%
Miami - FG% 44.6 FG%
New Orleans - Reb 47.7 Reb
Miami - Reb 45.7 Reb