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Game #31: Miami Heat (21-9) vs. Phoenix Suns (13-14)

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D-Wade will be a game-time decision tonight.  He's dealing with a sore knee, and I'm sure he wants to be as close to 100% as possible for Saturday's game in LA.
D-Wade will be a game-time decision tonight. He's dealing with a sore knee, and I'm sure he wants to be as close to 100% as possible for Saturday's game in LA.

The Miami Heat head into Arizona for a pre-Lakers game matchup with the Phoenix Suns tonight.  I seriously hope that the Heat don't have the kind of let down game that L.A. had when they got spanked by the Bucks the other night.  With their knowledge of that game combined with that they are coming off of a loss for the first time in 13 games, I would hope that's warning enough.

Miami will play a team in Phoenix that is in the adjustment period of getting used to new players.  Tonight should be the debut of newcomers Vince Carter, Mickael Pietrus and Marcin Gortat.  They all came over from Orlando in a trade that was completed on Sunday when the Suns gave up Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, Earl Clark and a 1st round pick.

The Heat is in a similar situation, just not nearly as significant of one.  Now that Mike Miller is back from his thumb injury, Erik Spoelstra will have the task of working him into a rotation that has been very successful.  It's hard to say without watching the team practice how soon it'll be before Miller is getting regular minutes, but I imagine it will coincide with when his jumpers start going down.

GAME NOTES

  • Chris Bosh scored a season-high 35 points when the Heat beat Phoenix 123-96 in November. 
  • Bosh has had success against the Suns in his career, averaging 28.1 points and 11.7 rebounds in his last seven games against Phoenix.
  • Dwyane Wade and LeBron James have also done well playing in Phoenix.  D-Wade has averaged 31.4 points in his 5 career visits while LeBron has put up 34.0 points in his last 5 trips out west.
  • Miami has won 5 of 6 against the Suns, including their last three trips to Phoenix.
  • Phoenix has lost 5 of their last 7 games overall.
  • Vince Carter (knee) may not be playing tonight, though his former Magic teammates should be in the lineup for the first time since Sunday's trade.
  • Only Udonis Haslem (foot) is out for the Heat, but Dwyane Wade (knee) sat out today's shootaround and will be a game-time decision. 

Tipoff from the US Airways Center is set for 10:30.  I'm looking forward to this one...usually Suns games are pretty good.  Lets Go Heat!