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Heat hit road to visit the Mavericks

December 20, 2012 17:23:02 UK

In a light NBA schedule, the Miami Heat take a quick one-game road trip to the American Airlines Center in Dallas to play the Mavericks on Thursday.

Winners of two straight and four of their last five, the Heat will look to build on their game-and-a-half lead over the Atlanta Hawks in the Southeast Division despite a daunting end-of-year schedule.

Miami, 1.75 to win this season's NBA Championship, return home on Saturday to host the Utah Jazz before their marquee matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder (7501.00) on Christmas Day. The Heat then end December with four games over six days with a road swing through Charlotte, Detroit, Milwaukee and Orlando.

On Wednesday, the Toronto Raptors picked up their fourth consecutive win with a 97-91 triumph over the Detroit Pistons at the Air Canada Centre.

DeMar DeRozan led the hosts with 23 points on 10-of-19 shooting and Toronto will welcome in the Orlando Magic on Friday before taking a break until after Christmas.

Orlando tuned up for the contest with a 90-83 victory over the Washington Wizards at the Amway Center. JJ Redick, the subject of a number of recent trade rumours, came off the bench to lead the Magic with 17 points, but the win came at the loss of Glen Davis who appeared to injure his shoulder late in the game.

Also in action on Wednesday were the New York Knicks who rode Carmelo Anthony's 31 points to a 100-86 win over the Brooklyn Nets at Madison Square Garden.

JR Smith added 19 more off the bench as the Knicks sent the visitors to their third consecutive defeat and stretched New York's lead in the Atlantic Division to six games over both the Nets and Boston Celtics.

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