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New Jersey (10-21) at Miami (18-15) 7:30 pm EST ---------------------------------------------------------------- MIAMI (Ticker) -- The New Jersey Nets will try and win back-to-back games for just the third time this season Thursday night when they visit the Miami Heat, who have won five of their last six games, including three in a row at home.
New Jersey has not won two straight since mid-December. The Nets snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 120-110 win over the Orlando Magic on Tuesday. The Nets nearly squandered a 22-point fourth-quarter lead but regrouped in time to save the win.
Stephon Marbury scored 30 points and rookie Kenyon Martin added a season-high 25 for the Nets, who never trailed but almost added another memorable setback to a season of unforgivable and unforgettable losses.
During its skid, New Jersey lost at Milwaukee on a buzzer shot by Ray Allen; at home to lowly Atlanta; to Boston after holding a four-point lead with four seconds left; and at woeful Chicago.
Marbury has led the the Nets in scoring in 22 of the 27 games he has played in this season.
The Heat are coming off an 80-72 loss to the San Antonio Spurs Tuesday night, but have been hot of late and have moved into the Eastern Conference playoff picture.
Lloyd Daniels scored 19 points and made all the big baskets to lead the Spurs to victory over the Heat, who had their season-high winning streak snapped at five games.
Eddie Jones scored 18 points and Tim Hardaway added 15 for the Heat, which fell to 1-13 all-time in San Antonio. Miami shot under 37 percent (30-of-82). Anthony Mason had 14 points and 12 rebounds and Brian Grant added 12 and 10 for the Heat.
Jones has led Miami in scoring in each of the last six games, averaging over 29 points per game during that stretch. His 19.7 scoring average this season leads the Heat.
New Jersey is 5-9 on the road this season. Miami is 9-6 at American Airlines Arena and has won five of its last six there, after a six-game home losing streak earlier this season.
The teams have split two previous meetings this season, both at Continental Airlines Arena. In the last meeting on December 23, the Heat posted an 86-80 victory over the Nets.
Jones came up big with 31 points and made 8-of-15 shots from the field and was clutch at the free-throw line, making 13-of-16 attempts. Brian Grant added 18 points and Tim Hardaway 15 for Miami. Stephon Marbury did his best to keep the Nets in the game as he scored 37 points before fouling out in the fourth quarter.
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