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PreHeat: Miami Heat (30-9) back in L.A. to face Clippers (12-24)

Only one more road win is needed to match the Heat franchise record of 14 consecutive road victories (back in 1996) and the team would like to accomplish this without going into overtime for a third straight game, though two days off after beating the Portland Trail Blazers might have helped after playing those extended minutes. The historically dreadful L.A. Clippers have played well as of late, rising from a 1-13 start to the season to arguably the better team in Los Angeles the past few weeks as they've won 7 of their last 10 games. Don't get too excited, their victories against the Chicago Bulls and Denver Nuggets were the only ones against quality opponents over .500. The other teams they beat were the Pistons, Timberwolves, Suns, Kings and the Warriors. Overall, the Heat hold the series edge over the Clippers 28-16 (15-7 at home, 13-9 as visitors) but have had varied success against the team since 2000 with a surprising record of 9-11. This is the same record over that span against the Los Angeles Lakers (not counting the recent Christmas victory). Other than the point guard position, the Clippers are not particularly deep at any other spot but their starting 5 will pose some interesting matchups including Chris Bosh vs Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon vs Dwyane Wade. Griffin's size and body type practically begs for LeBron to take the defensive assignment for at least a few minutes of the game. Griffin has reached double figures in scoring in every game this season and rebounds in all but 7 games. The last time he did not accomplish this in both categories was back on November 18th against Indiana with 12 points and 8 rebounds. He's had at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in his last 12 games. Chris Kaman is still injured as well as forward Craig Smith. Brian Cook is also questionable for tonight. For the Heat, Udonis Haslem and Jamaal Magloire will take their usual inactive spots. Probable Heat starters: Carlos Arroyo, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Zydrunas Ilgauskas Probable Clippers starters: Baron Davis, Eric Gordon, Ryan Gomes, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan

Tipoff: 10:30 p.m., Staples Center, Los Angeles. TV - Sun Sports. Radio - WAXY (790-AM), WQBA (1140-AM, Español).