After struggling to score during a four-game losing streak, the Miami Heat have gotten their offense back on track.
The Heat, who could be further helped by the return of second-leading scorer Michael Beasley, try to win their third in a row when they host the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday.
Miami (34-32) has won five of six following its four-game slide. During that slump, the Heat, who were without Dwyane Wade for three of those games, averaged 82.5 points.
Over the last six games, they've averaged 103.0, with Wade scoring 29.3 per contest. Miami has also received a lift from Jermaine O'Neal, who had a season-high 25 points in a 108-95 home win over Chicago on Friday which gave the Heat a 2 1/2-game lead over the ninth-place Bulls in the Eastern Conference.
"We want to win every game and we've put ourselves in position where we've got to scrap," O'Neal said. "We can't blame anybody else but ourselves. So every game we have in this building, we've got to take full advantage of it."
O'Neal's contribution helped make up for the absences of three players.
Beasley sat out with a thigh bruise and Dorell Wright served the first of a two-game suspension after being charged with a DUI and driving with a suspended license. The Heat also announced point guard Rafer Alston has been suspended for the season after he left the team without telling any member of the organization why.
Alston played in 25 games for the Heat after signing Jan. 7, averaging 6.6 points and 2.9 assists. He told ESPN earlier this week his departure was due to a personal matter involving his sister.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family during this time, but we are at the point where we must move forward with the rest of the season during our playoff push," team president Pat Riley said.
The Heat could have Beasley, averaging 15.3 points, back in the lineup as they go for their sixth straight win at home.
Philadelphia (23-42) has lost three straight and eight of nine. Seven of those nine teams the 76ers have faced have scored 100 or more points, including Cleveland, which won 100-95 on Friday.
Philadelphia trailed 98-95 with 1:28 remaining but turned the ball over and the conference-leading Cavaliers hit two free throws.
Andre Iguodala finished with 30 points and Elton Brand had 24 for the 76ers, who lost their previous two against Indiana and Charlotte by a combined 26 points.
"We can take positives from a loss but we're not trying to take victories from a loss," Brand said. "We did a lot of things well, but we still lost."
Miami won 105-78 at Philadelphia on Feb. 16 as Wade had 24 points and the Heat held the 76ers to 37.9 percent shooting.
Philadelphia has lost its last two trips to Miami.