(SportsNetwork.com) - Chris Bosh has been held in check the past few games and the Miami Heat hope those results trend upward when they host the Los Angeles Clippers Thursday at AmericanAirlines Arena.
Bosh averaged 23.6 points per game over the first seven games this season, but lately has been shooting poorly from the field and is posting 13.5 ppg in the previous four. Bosh had 15 points and nine rebounds in Monday's 95-83 win at Brooklyn, one game after shooting 11.8 percent in a loss to Milwaukee.
The Miami center has a slight lead ahead of teammate Dwyane Wade in scoring with 19.9 points. Wade is averaging 19.8. Bosh is pulling down a team-best 8.7 rebounds per game and knows his body isn't what it used to be.
"My body and timing is going to catch up to everything, it's a little different because I'm a little older, I have to adjust my game," Bosh told the Miami Herald. "They're putting younger, bigger guys on me. When I was younger and faster and bigger I could go right by them. Now, that's no longer the case."
Bosh, who is 12 boards shy of 7,000 in his career, jokingly said "the thrill is gone" in his game, but that's not the case.
In the victory against the Nets, Mario Chalmers scored 22 points and Norris Cole chipped in 12 for Miami, which shot 43.1 percent and struggled from beyond the 3-point line, making 9-of-27 attempts. Cole played in his 159th consecutive game, the third-longest streak in team history. Glen Rice leads with 174 and Grant Long is second with 161 consecutive games played.
Miami ended a three-game losing streak and prevailed for the third time in the last eight games.
"This is a good step, but we have to keep on building," Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said.
The team played without Wade (hamstring) for the third straight game, forward Luol Deng (wrist) and guard Josh McRoberts (foot). Wade and Deng (14.3 ppg) are doubtful and McRoberts is questionable versus the Clippers.
The Heat are allowing 95.8 points on defense and have given up 100 points only three times this season. On offense, they are 5-1 when scoring at least 100 points.
Los Angeles opened a seven-game road trip in the Sunshine State with Wednesday's 114-90 win against the Orlando Magic, as Jamal Crawford scored a team-best 22 points off the bench and Blake Griffin had 20.
Chris Paul finished with 16 points and nine assists, while DeAndre Jordan grabbed 11 rebounds to go with his two points. Jordan passed Benoit Benjamin for sixth on the team's all-time rebounds list.
The Clippers bounced back from a 105-89 loss to Chicago on Monday and made 53.6 percent of their shots in Orlando. They hit 12-of-21 3-pointers.
"One game doesn't make your season, either way," said Clippers head coach Doc Rivers. "We just have to keep playing and getting better."
Rivers' bunch won its season opener versus Oklahoma City and has rotated results over the last nine games. Los Angeles will also make stops in Memphis, Charlotte, Detroit, Houston and Utah, and are playing just their fourth road game (2-1).
The Clippers will travel more than 7,000 miles on the lengthy junket, and last season went 4-3 on their first seven-game road trip from Dec. 4 - Dec. 14 and 5-2 in the second seven-game jaunt from Jan. 17 - Jan 27.
Miami won both games against the Clippers last season and is unbeaten in the previous three meetings. The Clippers haven't enjoyed much success in South Beach lately, dropping five in a row and 14 of the past 18 games there.
LA last won in Miami on March 10, 2008 in a 99-98 decision.