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Game Preview: Heat host Magic to close out home stand

The Miami Heat have been at home for a while now. This is their last of 7 straight home games as they host the Orlando Magic.

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Heat haven't won consecutive games in over a month. The last time the did it, the Orlando Magic were the first win of those games. If the Heat want to accomplish that again, they'll need to beat the Magic in Miami, and then beat the Indiana Pacers on the road.

Here's our Hot Hot Hoops GameTime Prevew!

Orlando Magic (12-21) @ Miami Heat (14-17)
7:30 PM EST @ AmericanAirlines Arena
SunSports TV and 790 the Ticket

Previous Meetings:
November 22: Miami Heat, 99 @ Orlando Magic, 92 -- View the GameStream

Probable Starters
Elfrid Payton PG Mario Chalmers
Victor Oladipo SG Dwyane Wade
Tobias Harris SF Luol Deng
Kyle O'Quinn PF Shawne Williams
Nikola Vucevic C Chris Bosh

If there is ever a time for the Heat to start another chance to turn around their season, it's now. With the 12-21 Orlando Magic visiting Miami as the Heat have been home for 2 weeks, the Heat need to take a stand for their season and begin the climb back to .500.

It's possible that Chris Bosh will make his return to the court on Monday night. Bosh has missed the last 8 games with a calf strain, but he participated in practice on Sunday, and are waiting to see how he responds by gametime. If he does, he will make life much easier on the Heat. Bosh's absence has helped dropped the Heat near the bottom of the league in both offensive and defensive efficiency.

The Magic are right there with them. Neither of these teams have been very good to their standards. Orlando is coming off a win against another East team that is failing to do well, the Charlotte Hornets. Lead by Victor Oladipo, the Magic will bring a mix of youth and experience to challenge Miami.

The match-up to watch for will be in both guard positions. Typically, Dwyane Wade has done really well against the Magic, but Oladipo is a tough defender. And with the Magic starting a rookie point guard in Elfrid Payton, will the Heat's combo of Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole make him work to be successful?

I'm predicting a score in the 90's, and I think the Heat will come out on top, especially if Chris Bosh returns to the court.

The Heat are currently 7th in the East and will leave for Indiana on Tuesday before a New Years Eve midday matchup with the Pacers.