(SportsNetwork.com) - Two teams with increasingly bleak playoff hopes in the Eastern Conference do battle Tuesday night when the Charlotte Hornets visit American Airlines Arena to face the Miami Heat.
The Heat sit a game behind the Boston Celtics for the eighth postseason berth in the Eastern Conference. They are tied with the Indiana Pacers, while the Hornets are 1 1/2 games behind Boston.
Miami has dropped four straight, including three in a row on the road. The Heat play four in a row at home versus Charlotte, Chicago, Toronto and Orlando before closing the season in Philadelphia.
On Sunday, Paul George returned to the Pacers lineup and led them to a 112-89 victory over the Heat.
George had 13 points in under 15 minutes to spur the Pacers.
"Right now he's working himself in, trying to get his confidence. His vision is to be as good as he can be next year, but he looked pretty good tonight," Heat guard Dwyane Wade said.
Wade's 27 points were not enough for the spiraling Heat.
Miami actually led by one midway through the third quarter, but a 13-2 run, highlighted by 3-pointers from George Hill and C.J. Miles, gave Indiana a 70-60 cushion.
George hit two 3s early in the fourth quarter to spark a 10-0 run that extended the margin to 89-71, and the hosts cruised from there.
The Heat are dealing with a multitude of injuries at a terrible time. Luol Deng (bruised knee), Chris Andersen (bruised left foot) and Hassan Whiteside (lacerated right hand) are questionable.
Michael Beasley (knee) is doubtful, while Mario Chalmers (leg) and Goran Dragic (back) are probable. Wade's knee is bothering him, but he's expected to go against the Hornets.
Charlotte is no stranger to injuries. The Hornets' starting frontcourt of Al Jefferson (knee), Cody Zeller (shoulder) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (ankle) are expected to be out Tuesday night.
The Hornets kept their playoff hopes alive on Saturday night with a 92-91 home victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.
Gerald Henderson's go-ahead layup with six seconds left lifted the Hornets to the win.
Philly's Ish Smith was off on two 3-pointers before Mo Williams was unable to connect from long distance at the other end. Smith was fouled with 10.3 ticks on the clock, but missed both foul shots.
Henderson then drove past Smith from the top of the arc and powered over Furkan Aldemir at the rim for the layup.
"A great drive," Charlotte coach Steve Clifford said of the layup. "Gerald really made the play because he made the sink down to block out Aldemir and get that rebound."
Kemba Walker had 24 points and Williams added 18 points and five assists for the Hornets, who have won three of their last five games. Henderson finished with seven points.
The Hornets won two of three against the Heat this season, but, including the postseason, the Heat have won 12 straight at home versus Charlotte.