HHH Preview: Heat visit Grizzlies, hoping to stay on top of Eastern Conference

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat are coming off a difficult loss last night at home to the Brooklyn Nets, and now face a difficult Memphis Grizzlies team fighting for their playoff lives.

The Miami Heat (53-24) visit the Memphis Grizzlies (45-32) in their second to last back-to-back of the season. The Heat are hopeful they will get G Dwyane Wade back after missing seven consecutive games after a pulled hamstring late agains the Pacers two weeks ago.

Wade nearly played Tuesday against Brooklyn, but the training staff decided against it. Wade's return would be welcomed, as LeBron James has now played more minutes without Wade than with him this season. The Heat are in a race for the top spot in the East, leading Indiana by only 1/2 game. The Pacers visit league-worst Milwaukee tonight before clashing in Miami on Friday with the Heat.

The Heat are coming over a disappointing home loss to the Brooklyn Nets who swept the season series from Miami. You can check out all our game coverage of the late no-call and reactions on our GameStream.

Meanwhile, tonight's opponent, the Memphis Grizzlies are in a desperate race to get the last playoff spot in the West. Despite a 45-32 record, the Grizzlies are one game behind the Phoenix Suns for the right to go to the postseason. Memphis has won 12 consecutive home games, and are hungry for this win.

More on Grizzlies: SBN Grizzly Bear Blues

These two teams met on March 21 in Miami where the Heat sneaked away a victory from the Grizzlies 91-86. The Heat rallied from a seven point deficit with 4 minutes to go before out-dueling the Grizzlies. Marc Gasol missed part of that game as he sprained his ankle.

Memphis is coming off a 20 point loss to the Spurs on Sunday. They have the #3 defense in the NBA, allowing only 94.4 PPG. They are led by Mike Conley Jr. who averages 17.2 PPG and 6.0 APG. The Grizzlies have lost four of their last six, while Miami has won five of their last seven.

The availability of Udonis Haslem (stomach virus) and Greg Oden (back) are unknown. And the status of Dwyane Wade (hamstring) is also up in the air, although he hopes to return either tonight or Friday against Indiana.

Here's the recap from the last game:

The Heat and Grizzlies tip at 8:00 and the game will be on ESPN. Make sure to come back and join us for the GameThread before the game.

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