<![CDATA[NBC 6 South Florida - Sports]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/sports http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC+6+LOGO+GOOGLE.png NBC 6 South Florida http://www.nbcmiami.com en-us Fri, 19 Dec 2014 23:33:19 -0500 Fri, 19 Dec 2014 23:33:19 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Marlins Introduce Gordon, Latos and Morse]]> Fri, 19 Dec 2014 13:46:01 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/121914+mat+latos+mike+morse+dee+gordon.jpg

Friday was a big day for the Miami Marlins as the team introduced Dee Gordon, Mat Latos and Michael Morse to the media at Marlins Park.

The three players all came aboard during a busy month for the team. All three players have their roots in Florida as well. The one new player missing at the conference was Dan Haren who remains in limbo. Haren may opt to retire rather than play for the Marlins as he has a desire to remain in Southern California.

Gordon will wear #1 for Miami is expected to hit leadoff on a daily basis. The electrifying second baseman should set the table for Christian Yelich and Giancarlo Stanton behind him. The Marlins lacked speed in their lineup during 2014 which Gordon immediately changes.

"I'm just happy to be here," Gordon said in a brief statement during the conference.

Latos will be #35 for the Marlins and should be a tremendous addition to the rotation. The veteran will be a free agent after the season after a successful run with the Cincinnati Reds. In Cincy, Latos had excellent statistics despite pitching in a hitters ballpark. There is another perk for a pitcher coming to the Marlins besides the friendly large field.

"I can't say how exciting it is to not have to face Stanton. I'm one of the lucky ones he hasn't gotten yet," Latos said.

Morse who will don #38 should give the Marlins something they lacked in 2014. Garrett Jones did not provide the production that Miami had hoped for out of its first base spot. Morse gives the Marlins a power bat at 1B and he will likely hit behind Stanton on most days.

"To be a part of an organization that is on the rise and to come home is a dream come true," Morse added.

While the big moves may be done, Miami could still look to add another arm to its starting rotation especially if Haren refuses to join the team.



Photo Credit: Stefano Fusaro/NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Heat Drop Another Home Game]]> Fri, 19 Dec 2014 22:29:43 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/460699172.jpg

The Miami Heat lost their fifth straight home game on Friday by falling to the Washington Wizards 105-103.

On the year, the Heat are now 4-9 in games played at American Airlines Arena. On the road, Miami has a winning record but its surprising struggles at home has the team at 12-15 overall. The home record for Miami ranks near the bottom of the league.

The Heat entered the fourth quarter with a lead and still had a chance to win in the final seconds. Turnovers and second-chance opportunities for Washington doomed Miami however. The Heat had 16 turnovers as opposed to nine for the Wizards. Washington had 13 offensive rebounds while Miami only had five.

Hassan Whiteside was a bright spot for Miami in his first extended action of the year. Whiteside gave Miami 16 solid minutes which featured six points, seven rebounds, two steals and a block. The 25-year old picked up five personal fouls but infused the Heat with energy and should see more playing time in the upcoming games.

Dwyane Wade did all he could as the main option for the Heat. With Chris Bosh continuing to nurse a calf injury, Wade saw nearly every play involve him. The guard had 28 points and eight assists along with four rebounds. One of Wade's biggest scores came with under 20 seconds left when he sank a three-pointer. At the time, the basket cut Washington's lead to only one.

Shawne Williams returned to the starting lineup and scored eight points in 24 minutes. The forward also had three rebounds and the team was +18 with him on the court. Williams could continue to start with Josh McRoberts out of action for the foreseeable future.

The Heat will stay home for another contest on Sunday with the Boston Celtics at 6:00 p.m.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sluggish Heat No Match For Lowly Jazz]]> Wed, 17 Dec 2014 22:17:48 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/460609154.jpg

The Miami Heat appeared to be a step slower than the Utah Jazz in their 105-87 loss on Wednesday.

An early morning arrival for Miami looked like it played a role in the loss to the 7-19 Jazz. The Heat seemed a bit off their game from the start of this one. The loss came a day after a win in Brooklyn over the Nets that ended late due to a leaky roof.

This was the first game of a stretch of seven straight at home where Miami is only 4-8 on the season. The Heat actually have a winning record on the road but their mark at American Airlines Arena has them sitting at 12-14 overall on the year.

Chris Bosh remained out with his strained calf and his timetable for returning is currently unknown. With Bosh out, the Heat had Chris Andersen join the starting lineup. The veteran just returned to action on Sunday and has been building his minutes up. Andersen had 25 minutes on the court in this one with six points and nine rebounds.

Dwyane Wade had a season-high 42 points to go along with three assists and four boards in 34 minutes. With Bosh on the bench, most of the plays are centered around Wade. Even with the defense knowing this, the guard has stepped up and has produced as much as possible.

Miami had trouble finding the bottom of the basket as a team in the loss. Overall, the Heat shot only 38.6% and they were even worse from downtown. Miami was 4-17 on trey attempts with Mario Chalmers and Shawne Williams combining for seven of those misses.

The Washington Wizards will visit Miami on Friday as the Heat look to turn things around at home.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Panthers Notch 2nd Straight Shootout Victory]]> Thu, 18 Dec 2014 22:57:05 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/460648944.jpg

The Florida Panthers picked up a 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday in a game that ended in a shootout.

It was the second straight time that the Panthers headed to a shootout but this one was a bit shorter. On Tuesday, Florida set an NHL record when it went 20 round during its shootout with the Washington Capitals. This shootout only lasted six rounds before the Panthers came away victorious.

The win improved Florida to 14-8-8 on the season which kept it in seventh place in the Eastern Conference. The Panthers have been remarkably similar at home and away. When playing at BB&T Center, Florida is 7-4-2. On the road, the Panthers are 7-4-6 after this win.

Scottie Upshall scored towards the middle of the first period for Florida's first goal of the game. It was Upshall's fourth of the season and assists went to Tomas Kopecky and Dylan Olsen. This would end up being the only goal for the Panthers in regulation.

In the shootout, Brandon Pirri went first and scored. After Philadelphia matched that goal with a score of its own, Dave Bolland picked up a goal. The Flyers were unable to match that one and the Panthers skated off with the win.

Roberto Luongo was solid once again as he saved 25 of the 26 chances sent his way. The goalie also saved an additional two attempts during the shootout.

Brad Boyes and Vincent Trocheck were healthy scratches for Florida.

The Panthers will try to make it three wins in a row on Saturday in Pittsburgh when they take on the Penguins.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Panthers Win in Longest Shootout in NHL History]]> Tue, 16 Dec 2014 23:05:24 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/1659784182.jpg

The Florida Panthers were part of history on Tuesday in their 2-1 win over the Washington Capitals at BB&T Center.

The game went to a shootout which has been a common occurrence for Florida this year. This shootout however lasted quite a while. After 20 rounds, Nick Bjugstad put the game-winner in the net. The length set a NHL record for the longest shootout ever. Florida ended up with six goals in the shootout while Washington had five.

During the record breaking shootout, Jussi Jokinen had two goals, Derek MacKenzie added one, Sean Bergenheim put home another and Dylan Olsen also scored. 

The win improved Florida to 13-8-8 on the season and moved it into seventh in the conference standings. The Panthers would be in the playoffs if the season ended today and have been a surprising success thus far with their 34 points.

Florida's lone goal in regulation came courtesy of Derek MacKenzie in the first period. The goal was the third of the year for MacKenzie and was assisted on by Scottie Upshall.

Roberto Luongo had a long game with the overtime period and shootout. The goalie did a great job not only in the shootout but before it. On 24 chances, Luongo had 23 saves with several more during the shootout.

Shane O'Brien, Vincent Trocheck, and Brandon Pirri were all healthy scratches for Florida in this one.

The Panthers will head to Philadelphia on Thursday for a game with the Flyers at 7:00 p.m.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Heat Squeak Past Nets in Brooklyn]]> Tue, 16 Dec 2014 23:04:18 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/460571756.jpg

The Miami Heat were short-handed on Tuesday but still came away with a 95-91 win over the Brooklyn Nets.

Going into the half, the Heat led by ten points. In the third quarter, the two teams matched one another with 21 points. In the fourth quarter, Brooklyn made a run at things and cut the deficit to only two points with under a minute to go. Miami would hold on for the victory despite missing some late free throws.

Chris Bosh missed the game with a calf strain and his status remains a question mark. Bosh could miss several more games with the lingering injury. Josh McRoberts will possibly miss the rest of the year due to a meniscus tear. Danny Granger also missed this game due to a illness. Due to this, Miami only had ten players take part in the contest.

Dwyane Wade was the unquestioned main scoring option for Miami and he did his job. Wade had 28 points, four assists and five rebounds in 36 strong minutes. The guard will continue to see the majority of scoring chances with Bosh out.

Udonis Haslem started and played 25 minutes in place of McRoberts. The veteran gave his typical full effort and should continue to see big minutes going forward. 

Shawne Williams made an impact as well and he could eventually take back the starting role he had to begin the year. Williams had ten points and three assists in 19 minutes.

In his first game since returning from the D-League, Shabazz Napier played 18 minutes off the bench. The first round pick looked more like the player that started the year for Miami with 11 points. Napier was also 3-4 on his three-point attempts which was necessary since the team was 9-24 overall on treys.

The Heat will play the second part of a back-to-back on Wednesday when they return home for a game with the Utah Jazz.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins Sign Michael Morse to 2-Year Deal]]> Tue, 16 Dec 2014 19:48:32 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/121614+michael+morse.jpg

The Miami Marlins completed a long search for a new first baseman when they came to terms with Michael Morse on Tuesday.

After checking in on trades for names such as Justin Morneau and Pedro Alvarez, the Marlins elected to go the free agent route. By signing Morse to a two-year deal, Miami retains its prospects while also adding a dependable bat to the lineup.

In trades last week, the Marlins depleted their crop of minor leaguers. To trade for a first baseman would have likely cost them anything they have left in the minors or potentially a big league arm. It's debatable if adding a bat such as Morneau at the expense of a pitcher like Henderson Alvarez would have improved the team.

Morse was born in Fort Lauderdale, continuing a trend this off-season of bringing in players from Florida. Both Dee Gordon and Mat Latos also have their roots in the Sunshine State. The 32-year old attended Nova High School in Davie.

In 2014, Morse was a member of the World Series champions in San Francisco. In the regular season, Morse had a slash line of .279 / .336 / .475 with 16 home runs and 61 runs batted in. Those numbers were right around his career averages and Morse should be a solid addition to the Miami lineup.

With Morse in the fold, the Marlins will need to find a taker for Garrett Jones. It is likely that Miami will have to eat at least part of the salary owed to Jones. The first baseman signed a two-year deal last off-season and was a disappointment in his first year with the Marlins.

It remains to be seen where Morse will hit in the everyday lineup. Miami could elect to put Morse behind Giancarlo Stanton or keep Casey McGehee in the cleanup spot. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[U.S. to Bid for 2024 Olympics]]> Wed, 17 Dec 2014 04:15:47 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/TLMD-aros-olimpicos-juegos-olimpicos-olympic-rings-getty-images-470969827.jpg

The U.S. Olympic Committee has decided to bid for the 2024 Olympics, hoping to bring the Summer Games back to America after a 28-year absence.

The USOC board heard presentations from four candidate cities Tuesday — Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington — and voted to enter a field that already includes Rome and either Hamburg or Berlin, with Paris likely to join.

A decision on which city the U.S. will put forward for a bid is expected next month.

The United States hasn't hosted a Summer Games since the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.

The country's last two tries have been flops, with New York (2012) and Chicago (2016) each finishing fourth in voting. The USOC chose not to bid for the 2020 Games, which will take place in Tokyo.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[McRoberts Out Indefinitely With Torn Meniscus]]> Tue, 16 Dec 2014 08:15:06 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/4584635542.jpg

The Miami Heat could be without the services of Josh McRoberts for the remainder of the season after he tore his right lateral meniscus.

McRoberts is in the first year of a four-year contract he signed with the Heat this past off-season. After starting the season late due to a toe injury, McRoberts made a handful of starts before this latest injury. The tear was found during an MRI on Monday.

With McRoberts out, the Heat could turn back to Shawne Williams in the starting lineup. Williams had filled in for McRoberts early in the season and did a great job. That production tailed off however once Williams saw his minutes cut into. As of late, Williams has been used sparingly and may need a few games to build up his stamina again.

The Heat are also dealing with injuries to other players including Chris Bosh. The Heat star has a calf strain that kept him out of Sunday's game. Bosh will not travel with the team to Brooklyn for Tuesday's game and his status is up in the air going forward.

One option to fill in for McRoberts is dealing with his own issues as well. Justin Hamilton had a quad contusion and is questionable for Tuesday's game. Recently, Hamilton has been playing more minutes due to the injuries on the team.

The Heat also brought Shabazz Napier and Hassan Whiteside back to the team on Monday due to the diminishing depth. Both players had been assigned to the D-League mere days ago so they could gain experience with more playing time.

The Heat will take on the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday..



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dolphins Annihilated in New England]]> Sun, 14 Dec 2014 17:01:15 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/460465118.jpg

The Miami Dolphins needed a win over the New England Patriots on Sunday and instead they ended up on the wrong end of a 41-13 final.

Going into the half, Miami remained in the game as it was down only one point. That 14-13 score would not stay long though. The Patriots posted 24 unanswered points in the third quarter alone before adding three more in the fourth.

The loss for Miami was its seventh of the year and second in a row. The Dolphins have not been officially eliminated but this loss puts a major dent in their playoff hopes. For New England, this was their seventh win in seven tries at home.

Ryan Tannehill was 29-47 on the day for 346 yards. The quarterback threw two interceptions and one touchdown pass. Tannehill was also sacked twice for a total loss of 18 yards. It was one of the poorer outings as of late for the QB.

One of the few bright spots for Miami was Mike Wallace who caught 104 yards on five catches. Wallace also caught he lone TD pass of the day for the Dolphins. One of the catches made by the receiver was good for 50 yards itself.

Things started out badly for the Dolphins when a field goal attempt was blocked on the first drive of the game. The Patriots would quickly take the lead and would hold that advantage throughout the entire game.

Miami will head home now for the final two weeks of the season. The Minnesota Vikings will visit next Sunday at 1:00 p.m.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins Could Look To Trade Haren: Report]]> Mon, 15 Dec 2014 17:58:52 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/455941960.jpg

The Miami Marlins could spin veteran Dan Haren off to another team if the pitcher refuses to play for them.

Haren was acquired last week in a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers along with Dee Gordon. At the time, it was known that Haren had stated an intent to retire if he was traded outside of Los Angeles. The Marlins made the move anyway with hopes of changing Haren's mind. That still may happen but the team is reportedly preparing contingency plans if it doesn't.

The Dodgers sent $10 million along with Haren which covers his 2015 salary. That money is Miami's regardless of if Haren ever throws a pitch for Miami. If Haren is indeed traded, the new team may ask for the Marlins to cover some of his salary. It remains to be seen if the Marlins would be open to that ideas.

Haren could help a young Marlins rotation if he opts to stay in Miami. The recent addition of Mat Latos was a big improvement for the Marlins but Haren could make it an even better situation. While the veteran is not the same pitcher he once was, he is still better than many other options. The fact he would also cost the Marlins no money at the same time is also a big factor.

Should Haren remain in the rotation, it is likely that Tom Koehler will be destined for a relief role. Koehler excelled in 2014 but in a numbers game, he is the one who would likely lose out. Henderson Alvarez, Jarred Cosart, Nathan Eovaldi, and Mat Latos would appear to have the other four rotation spots locked up.

There remains a possibility that Miami trades an arm such as Eovaldi for a first baseman. This would only become a true option though if Haren was to remain in Miami. If the team loses Haren, then Eovaldi's presence becomes much more important.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bosh Sits As Heat Lose Another in Miami]]> Mon, 15 Dec 2014 07:03:09 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/460472840.jpg

The Miami Heat fell to 4-7 on the season when playing at home after their 93-75 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Sunday.

Chris Bosh missed the game with a calf strain and it was the first time that he sat this season. It is currently unknown if Bosh will miss any additional time with an injury he suffered in Miami's last game. Josh McRoberts also sat again with a knee injury.

This was the third straight loss at American Airlines Arena for Miami and lowered the team's overall record to 11-13. The bad news for the Heat is that seven of their next eight games will come on their home court.

The Heat actually led the game after one quarter but it was downhill from there. The Bulls outscored the Heat by 11 in the second quarter and by 17 in the third. 

Dwyane Wade was the unquestioned main option going into this game with Bosh unavailable. Wade struggled with six turnovers in his 28 minutes. The guard was 7-18 on his attempts and had no assists to go along with 17 points. Miami was -22 with Wade on the court which was easily the worst mark on the team.

Justin Hamilton started once again and logged big minutes for a second straight game. Hamilton played a season-high 33 minutes and had ten points with three rebounds. Hamilton could continue to see minutes if Bosh or McRoberts miss more time.

The Heat were an abysmal 4-22 on three-point attempts with Mario Chalmers contributing the most misses. Chalmers was 1-6 on his trey attempts in his 29 minutes on the court.

Miami will head to Brooklyn on Tuesday for its second game against the Nets this season. The Heat won the first contest which was also in Brooklyn.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Kobe Bryant Surpasses Jordan]]> Mon, 15 Dec 2014 05:53:06 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/212*120/Kobe-Bryant-passes-Jordan-points_12-14-14.jpg

On Sunday evening in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Kobe Bryant further cemented his place in basketball lore by becoming the third greatest scorer in NBA history.

Bryant passed Michael Jordan's total of 32,292 points in the first half of Sunday's game at Target Center. Only needing nine points on the day, most expected Bryant would surpass the required total before halftime, and Bryant did not disappoint.

Though Bryant missed his first three shots and the Minnesota Timberwolves were consistently putting a hard double team on the Lakers' star, the 19-year veteran began to slowly solve the defensive riddle.

After eight scoreless minutes on Sunday, Bryant's first two points on the night came from the foul line. By the time the first quarter ended, Bryant had four points on five shots, but he did not appear to be in any particular hurry to pass no. 23 on the all-time scoring list.

Instead, Bryant was happy to chaperon the Lakers to a three point lead after one quarter. In the second quarter, Bryant would return from his rest and immediately launch a three-pointer. Bryant took the ball on a turnaround jump shot to pass Jordan, but the ball went in and out. On the next possession, Bryant would head to the free throw line and sink two free throws.

Bryant moved to third all-time on the NBA scoring list, and Jordan dropped to fourth.

The game was momentarily halted as Bryant received hugs and congratulations from his teammates. The Timberwolves' PA announcer congratulated the 36-year-old and the fans in attendance applauded in appreciation. For a night, Minnesota felt like the home of the Lakers again.

With Jordan out of the way, Bryant is still a long way behind Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Malone's total of 36,928 points and Abdul-Jabbar's total of 38,387 points would likely require Bryant to play past the summer of 2016, when Bryant's current contract is set to retire.

On Sunday in Minneapolis, no. 24 passed no. 23 on the all-time scoring list, as Bryant further solidified his case for being the greatest Laker of all time in the city where the Lakers were born.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Best of NFL: Week 15]]> Sun, 14 Dec 2014 23:22:57 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/460466000.jpg Don't miss the most dramatic images from the fifteenth week of the 2014 NFL season.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Eagles' McCoy on Playing Sunday Night]]> Sun, 14 Dec 2014 15:12:02 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP383450712423.jpg Philadelphia Eagles' star running back, LeSean McCoy, ran for 159 yards and a touchdown in a convincing win against the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving. McCoy looks to continue that trend against the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football, where he always seems to come though for the Eagles.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Panthers Pick Up Another Point in Buffalo]]> Sun, 14 Dec 2014 10:31:13 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/457992600.jpg

The Buffalo Sabres were able to defeat the Florida Panthers for the first time this year on Saturday by a final score of 4-3.

The win came in overtime and the goal was scored quickly in that period. After only 29 seconds, Florida was handed its eighth overtime loss of the season. Despite the loss, the Panthers gained another point and kept hold of the eighth and final playoff spot. The Panthers have 32 points this season to go along with a 12-8-8 record.

In two previous meetings this season, Florida had come away victorious over Buffalo. The first came at First Niagara Center early in the year. The other win was just over a week ago at BB&T Center.

Florida trailed 2-0 after one period but made the most of the second period. About a minute into the second period, Sean Bergenheim buried his fifth goal of the year. The assist on that goal went to Brad Boyes.

A few minutes later, the Panthers would tie the game on Jimmy Hayes' seventh goal of the season. Bergenheim and Dmitry Kulikov picked up assists on the score.

The 57-second mark of the third period featured Jussi Jokinen's third goal of the season. At the time, it gave the Panthers a 3-2 lead. Dave Bolland assisted on the go-ahead goal. This marked the second straight game with an assist for Bolland.

In the back half of a back-to-back, the start was given to Al Montoya. The goalie ended up allowing the four goals on 32 save chances. Montoya has a 2-2-2 mark this season in his limited action.

The Panthers will be back in action on Tuesday at home vs. the Washington Capitals.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Week 15 Preview: Dolphins at Patriots]]> Sat, 13 Dec 2014 15:06:28 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/186031420.jpg

Beating the New England Patriots twice in one season is a tough task but the Miami Dolphins may need to do just that on Sunday.

In the first week of the season, Miami came back for an exciting 33-20 win at Sun Life Stadium. In that game, the Dolphins scored 23 points in the second half while allowing none to the Patriots. This time around the game is in Gillette Stadium where the Patriots are 6-0 in 2014.

Going to New England in December can often mean unsavory conditions but it appears the Dolphins will get some help there. The forecast for this one has the temperature hovering around 40 with no precipitation expected. While it may be a bit chilly, the field conditions should be more than acceptable.

With weather worries out of the way, the Dolphins have one other big thing to worry about. Tom Brady is having yet another fine year and his Patriots are on the verge of a division title. With a win on Sunday, the Patriots would clinch the AFC East for a sixth straight season.

The Dolphins currently sit at 7-6 after a tough loss to the Baltimore Ravens a week ago. Even though Miami would remain mathematically alive even with a loss Sunday, its hopes of the postseason would diminish significantly. Entering this contest, the Dolphins are in ninth place in the AFC and are tied with three other teams.

In the win over the Patriots earlier this year, Ryan Tannehill was 18-32 for 178 yards. The quarterback threw two touchdown passes and was intercepted once. He will likely need to be better on Sunday if Miami is to win.

Sunday's game in New England will start at 1:00 p.m.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Heat Assign Napier and Whiteside to D-League]]> Sat, 13 Dec 2014 15:04:20 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/458064932.jpg

The Miami Heat assigned Shabazz Napier and Hassan Whiteside to the NBA Development League on Saturday.

The two players will be members of the Sioux Falls Skyforce which is Miami's affiliate in the D-League. This is considered a demotion for both players but one they should benefit from. In the D-League, Napier and Whiteside should see an increase in minutes and opportunity.

Napier has seen his playing time diminish as of late due to a drop off in production. The first round pick started the year slow but then picked it up in mid-November. Napier played down the stretch of several games which showed the confidence the coaching staff had in him.

There were also a couple of games where the Napier eclipsed 30 minutes on the court. In the last four games combined, the point guard has only played 44 minutes. In those games, he has tallied three points and three assists total. Napier should join Miami again later this season.

Whiteside joined the Heat towards the end of November but has played sparingly. At only 25 years old, Whiteside is a part of the future for Miami and can now gain more experience. Whiteside has not logged any playing time in six of the nine Heat games since joining the team 

The most minutes Whiteside saw in a game came on Wednesday when he scored six points in six minutes. There is a lot of promise for Whiteside and he has a contract for next season in place already. Like Napier, it is likely that Whiteside will find himself back in Miami before the season comes to an end.

The Heat will take on the Chicago Bulls on Sunday looking for a second straight win.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Heat Finish Trip With Win in Utah]]> Sat, 13 Dec 2014 10:30:34 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/459764552.jpg

A five-game road trip for the Miami Heat ended on a good note Friday when they beat the Utah Jazz 100-95.

The win gave the Heat a 2-3 record on the trip and a 7-6 mark on the road this season. The Heat have won two of their last three games and have an 11-12 record this year overall. Miami currently holds the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference.

Going into the half, this looked like it would be an easy win for the Heat. After two quarters of play, Miami led the game by 15. That changed however after the teams returned from the locker room for the third quarter. Utah outscored Miami by 11 in that quarter and the win wasn't decided until the final seconds of the fourth quarter.

Dwyane Wade led the way for Miami in the win with 29 points, seven assists, three rebounds, a block and a steal. Wade was efficient hitting 10 of his 16 attempts and made his line three-point try. The veteran made some key free throws down the stretch to seal the win as well.

As he has been all season long, Chris Bosh was effective with 22 points and nine boards. Bosh also had two blocks but did struggle in one area. The big man was only 1-5 on his trey attempts but Bosh is still close to 40% on three-point tries overall this year.

With Josh McRoberts sidelined due to a knee injury, Justin Hamilton found himself in the starting lineup. Hamilton gave Miami 29 strong minutes and the Heat were +10 with him on the court.

The Heat will return home on Sunday for a game with the Chicago Bulls at 6:00 p.m.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Panthers Beat Red Wings in Shootout]]> Sat, 13 Dec 2014 08:39:13 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/456390000.jpg

The Florida Panthers topped the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 in a shootout on Friday at Joe Louis Arena.

Detroit has one of the best records in the league and has been a dominant home team. Florida meanwhile has struggled in games that have lasted longer than three periods this season. The win gives the Panthers 31 points with an 12-8-7 record. The win also moved Florida into a playoff spot.

Tomas Fleischmann's third goal of the year was the first goal for Florida on Friday. Dave Bolland and Sean Bergenheim assisted on the score that came at the 7:10 mark of the first period.

It only took about seven minutes for the Panthers to add a second score courtesy of Jonathan Huberdeau. The goal which Nick Bjugstad assisted on was the third of the season for Huberdeau.

Florida had an excellent shootout after a quiet time following the first period. Vincent Trocheck and Brandon Pirri both scored as the Panthers were a perfect 2-2 in the shootout. At the same time, Roberto Luongo saved both chances he had in the shootout.

In the game overall, Luongo had 29 saves on 31 chances. The goalie has done a decent job in December thus far while his team has alternated wins and losses.

Shane O'Brien was a healthy scratch while Shawn Thornton missed the game with a groin injury.

The Panthers will play again on Saturday in Buffalo against the Sabres.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins Add Mat Latos in Trade With Reds]]> Thu, 11 Dec 2014 13:06:16 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/453045370.jpg

The Miami Marlins made a trade for a second straight day when they acquired Mat Latos from the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday

Going to Cincinnati will be Anthony DeSclafani who spent part of the 2014 season in the big leagues with Miami. The right-hander was expected to begin the 2015 season in the minors. Chad Wallach will also be sent to the Reds after reaching high-A Jupiter in 2014 for Miami.

Latos has a very respectable 3.34 career E.R.A over six big league seasons. The 27-year old played for the San Diego Padres before arriving in Cincinnati. Latos had a shortened season in 2014 due to a bone bruise but is expected to be fine for spring training. 2015 will be the final season before Latos is a free agent.

Like Dee Gordon who was acquired by Miami a day earlier, Latos is from Florida. For the big right-hander, this will be a homecoming after attending college in Fort Lauderdale. Latos also attended Coconut Creek High School.

DeSclafani took part in 13 games for Miami and had a 6.27 E.R.A. He made five starts and was hit hard allowing 40 hits in his 33 innings. The 24-year old did a much better job at the minor league level and could still turn into an asset. It is possible that his future will be in the bullpen instead of in the rotation.

Wallach had a solid first full professional season with Low-A Greensboro and Jupiter. The 23-year old catcher slashed .322 / .431 / .457 in 97 games. If he remained in the organization, Wallach would have likely reached AA Jacksonville in 2015.

A first baseman still remains a priority for Miami with a name such as Justin Morneau of the Colorado Rockies possibly being in play.



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<![CDATA[Marlins Reportedly Acquire Dee Gordon From Dodgers]]> Thu, 11 Dec 2014 06:58:36 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/456808650.jpg

The Miami Marlins made a big splash on Wednesday when they acquired Dee Gordon from the Los Angeles Dodgers per the Miami Herald.

Along with Gordon who was an All-Star in 2014, the Marlins acquired starter Dan Haren. In return, Miami is sending Andrew Heaney, Chris Hatcher, Austin Barnes and Enrique Hernandez to the Dodgers. The deal has not been confirmed by either club as of yet.

Gordon posted a message on Twitter Wednesday thanking the Dodgers and saying he was happy to be returning to Florida.

"I look forward to my new organization with the @Marlins and being part of something special in my home state," Gordon wrote. "I grew up watching my Dad playing against the Marlins for many years at Pro Player Stadium and I can't wait to call Marlins Park my new home!"

Gordon will slide into the top of the lineup for Miami and fill a gaping hole at second base. He brings something that the Marlins lacked, the ability to steal bases. Gordon swiped 64 bases himself in 2014. That total is more than Miami had as a team this past season.

The 26-year old second baseman also has 12 triples in 2014 and has the ability to change the game any time he comes to the plate. He is expected to lead off which will allow Christian Yelich to slide down a spot to second in the lineup.

Haren is a question mark as he has stated he would retire rather than play outside of Los Angeles. It is possible that the Marlins could call Haren's bluff or look into moving him. The veteran is currently signed for the 2015 season and would give the Marlins a much needed arm in the rotation.

Heaney was the top prospect in the Marlins system and one of the most talked about pitchers in all of baseball. He is only 23 years old and has the potential to be an ace of a pitching staff. The Marlins have a surplus of young talented arms however and needed to find an offensive weapon such as Gordon.

Hernandez was acquired last July along with Jarred Cosart from the Houston Astros. The second baseman was in the running to win a starting job this Spring but will now possibly replace Gordon in Los Angeles. Hernandez is a talented player that has yet to get an extended opportunity.

The Marlins may still make more additions this off-season in both the rotation and the lineup.



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<![CDATA[Late Goal Gives Panthers The Blues]]> Mon, 08 Dec 2014 23:16:13 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/456386494.jpg

The Florida Panthers lost Monday's game to the St. Louis Blues by a final score of 4-2 after battling back earlier.

The Panthers were down 2-0 after one period of play but they cut that deficit in half going into the third period. Florida would tie the game with a little more than five minutes left. However, that would end up the last score of the game of the Panthers.

With under two minutes left in regulation, the Blues scored a goal to make it a 3-2 game. They would go on to add an empty net goal a little over a minute later. That was all St. Louis needed and Florida now sits at 11-8-7 on the season.

Florida's first goal came courtesy of Nick Bjugstad. It was the 12th goal of the season for Bjugstad and his fourth in the last three games. Counting assists, Bjugstad now has six points in those games. Tomas Fleischmann and Erik Gudbranson picked up assists for this goal.

The other goal for the Panthers was put in by Aaron Ekblad. It was the fifth goal of the year for the rookie who has four points now in the last two games. This was also the fifth straight game that Ekblad had at least one point. Jussi Jokinen and Brian Campbell assisted Ekblad with the goal.

Roberto Luongo stopped 24 of the 27 shots sent his way. The last goal of the day came when Luongo skated off the ice for an extra man with under two minutes left to go.

Florida will take a few days off before returning to action on Friday in Detroit. The Panthers will take on the Red Wings at 7:30 p.m.



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<![CDATA[Heat End Four-Game Skid]]> Tue, 09 Dec 2014 23:25:29 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/459001450.jpg

The Miami Heat ended a season high four-game skid on Tuesday with their 103-97 win over the Phoenix Suns.

This was the first win in December for Miami as it has struggled to stay competitive in the month. All four losses had been by double digits and had come mostly on the road. With the win, the Heat are now 10-11 on the season.

Chris Bosh led all players with his 34 points in 36 minutes of play. Bosh has been a consistent source of production all season long for Miami and that continued on Tuesday. The veteran added nine rebounds and four steals. Bosh was also 4-6 on his three-point attempts including one big made shot down the stretch.

Luol Deng appeared to be fully healthy in his second game back following a hand injury. Deng had 23 points, four boards, three assists, two blocks and a steal. The forward had his three-point shot working as well with a 3-4 day.

Josh McRoberts played a key role in the win with his ability to move the ball to the right man. McRoberts had seven assists to go along with four rebounds and ten points. Continuing the trend of the day, McRoberts was also solid from downtown making both his tries.

As a team, Miami was efficient as it made 53.8% of its shots. The team was also highly active and strong on defense with a combined 14 steals in the game.

The Heat will be right back on the court on Wednesday when they head to Denver for a game with the Nuggets.



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<![CDATA[Struggles Continue For Heat in 4th Straight Loss]]> Mon, 08 Dec 2014 05:59:53 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/458463554.jpg

The Miami Heat have now lost four consecutive games after Sunday's 103-87 defeat at the hands of the Memphis Grizzlies.

Miami is now 9-11 this season and its once solid road record has fallen to 5-5. The Heat entered the fourth quarter with a chance to beat one of the NBA's best teams. A nine-point advantage in that final quarter helped Memphis secure the win.

Josh McRoberts was one of the few good stories for Miami in the loss. Locked into the starting lineup, McRoberts posted 14 points with five rebounds and five assists in 28 minutes. He did as much as he could to keep the Heat in the game and the team was only -1 with him on the court.

Dwyane Wade continued what has been a great season with 25 points and six assists in 35 minutes. Wade has picked up right where he left off before a hamstring injury kept out of the lineup.

Chris Bosh on the other hand had a rare poor game with only 12 points and two boards. Bosh has been the most consistent player this season and the Heat would be far worse without his All-Star caliber year.

Three-point attempts were a problem once again for Miami as the team was only 5-16 on treys. Shawne Williams who has been relegated to a reserve role had the worst night from long distance going 0-4.

Luol Deng and Norris Cole returned to the lineup while Chris Andersen remained out for Miami.

The Heat will take a day off before beginning a back-to-back. On Tuesday, Miami will travel to Phoenix for a game with the Suns.



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<![CDATA[NFLer Hill Probed for Sex Assault]]> Mon, 08 Dec 2014 19:51:38 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/sammie-hill-getty.jpg

The Tennessee Titans say they are aware police are investigating a sexual assault allegation involving defensive lineman Sammie Hill.

"We will let the police investigate the allegation, and we will provide any assistance they need," the Titans said in a statement Monday. "We have discussed the matter with Sammie, and we will continue to gather facts."

Atlanta Police Department spokesman John Chaffee wrote in an email that a woman told police she had been sexually assaulted by Hill and they are working with the woman for more information.

The woman apparently contacted Houston police first. Spokesman Victor Senties confirmed to The Associated Press that Houston police took a report Friday from a woman alleging she had been sexually assaulted in Atlanta and forwarded that to police there.

Hill, who played at Stillman and a West Blocton, Alabama, native, is a six-year veteran in the second year of a three-year deal with Tennessee. The 6-foot-4, 328-pound Hill has started 12 games this season.
 



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<![CDATA[Marlins Winter Meetings Preview]]> Mon, 08 Dec 2014 13:41:16 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/456166282.jpg

The Miami Marlins have work to do and may be busy completing some tasks this week at the annual MLB winter meetings.

This is often the location of many moves including free agent signings and trades by teams. Even if deals aren't consummated during the week, general managers often lay the groundwork at this time.

The Marlins are still hunting for help on offense as well as in the rotation. A quick look at second base would show that Miami has room to improve. The free agent market at the position is thin but the Marlins could seek to make a trade and fulfill the need that way. If not, the team could elect to just stick with Enrique Hernandez or Donovan Solano at the position.

In the rotation, there have been rumblings that the Marlins like James Shields. The problem is that Shields could prove to be too expensive. Miami has a need to a front of the rotation type arm with Jose Fernandez out until at least July but Shields could command $20 million annually. This is a difficult number when payroll is reported to be $65 million total.

Miami could look to some less expensive options such as a Brandon McCarthy or Jake Peavy. There has been reported interest from Miami in the latter veteran. Peavy could be a perfect for the Marlins with a short-term contract and relatively low salary. The veteran has also been a world champion the last two seasons.

It doesn't take looking back too long to find a time when Miami itself was active during the meetings. In 2011, the Marlins made a series of offers and were the biggest story of the meetings. Miami had a much publicized attempt at reeling in Albert Pujols despite already signing Jose Reyes, Heath Bell and Mark Buehrle.

Pujols would go on to be signed during the meetings by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Another player that Miami targeted that year also went to Los Angeles when C.J. Wilson turned down Miami's offer. Those two signings were just a part of the frantic business seen annually during these meetings.

It is not likely that Miami will be the most active team this week or make the biggest splash but it should find help for its roster. Sometimes the smallest moves end up the biggest at the end of the year. This could end up the week that the team looks back on come next October.

The winter meetings will run through Thursday in San Diego.



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