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HHH GameTime Preview: Heat Visit Sacramento

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The HEAT will try to bounce back from a loss in Golden State to take three of four in California.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight at 10PM ET, the Miami Heat will visit the Kings at the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, CA. This will be the first of two contests this season between the two clubs, with the rematch in Miami set for March 7th.

Miami is closing out a five-game West Coast roadtrip. They started out by losing 99-83 to the Portland Trail Blazers last Thursday. Then, they took each Los Angeles team on Sunday and Tuesday, 104-90 over the Clippers and 78-75 over the Lakers respectively before dropping their last game, 104-89 to the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday. They'll host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday next week in their next game action.

The Kings will be playing in the fifth game of a six-game homestand. They defeated the Thunder 104-83 on January 7th, lost to the Denver Nuggets 118-108 last Friday, defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 103-84 on Sunday, and lost to the Dallas Mavericks in overtime on Tuesday, 108-104. Tomorrow night they'll host the Clippers.

It's been over a year since Miami and Sacramento faced off, December 27th, 2013 to be exact. The 8-19 Kings were hosting the 22-6 Heat, and took an overtime to send Miami home with a rare west-coast loss, 108-103. DeMarcus Cousins had a monster game with 27 points, 17 rebounds and five assists. Rudy Gay pitched in 26 on 11-of-19 shooting, and Isaiah Thomas had 22 with 11 helpers and seven rebounds. LeBron James scored 33 points on 12-of-23 shooting to pass Larry Bird into 29th on the all-time NBA leaderboard, adding eight assists and eight rebounds in the losing effort. Chris Bosh had 18 with seven boards and three blocks, and Norris Cole had 13. * Box Score * Full NBA.COM Recap

It's an honor to be out there with him. You're in the NBA, they are a lot of great players, a lot of historically great players. And he's definitely one of those historically great players, and it's good to be out there against him. - Rudy Gay, on playing against LeBron James

Sactown Royalty is SB Nation's source for the Kings.

17-22 Miami's last contest would see the HEAT attempt to run their two-game winning streak to three, but fall short to the 31-5 Golden State Warriors, 104-89. Stephen Curry, as always, torched the HEAT for 32 points on 11-of-19 shooting, including a blistering seven-for-10 performance from outside. Klay Thompson scored 19 for the Warriors, but nobody else finished in double figures. Chris Bosh led Miami with 26 points with seven rebounds, Luol Deng was good for 19 with seven boards, and Hassan Whiteside scored 10 with a dozen rebounds in his first start for the HEAT. Shabazz Napier also impressed, with 10 points and six assists as a starter. * Box Score * Full NBA.COM Recap

In the first half, we didn't bring enough of a competitive disposition. We competed better in the second half, but it was still not good enough basketball. They make it tough on you. - HEAT coach Erik Spoelstra

Golden State Of Mind has more on the Warriors.

Sacramento's last game would see the Kings lose 108-104 in overtime to the Dallas Mavericks. Monta Ellis led the way with 28 points, 10 assists, four rebounds and four steals, Rajon Rondo had 21 with seven assists, five rebounds and four steals, and Tyson Chandler scored 16 with 17 rebounds. The Kings would see DeMarcus Cousins score a game high 32 in defeat on 11-of-21 shooting, along with 16 rebounds and nine assists. Darren Collison scored 18 points with seven rebounds, three assists and three steals. Derrick Williams and Carl Landry both grabbed 10 boards off the bench as the team sunk just one-of-18 three-point shots. * Box Score * Full NBA.COM Recap

When you're down 10 points with 4:11 to play, you virtually have to pitch a shutout to win the game or even get it to OT. Our guys did that. It's an important game, you don't want to lose two in a row in the Western Conference. We didn't want a third one to happen. - Dallas coach Rick Carlisle

For more on Dallas, go to Mavs Moneyball.

GameTime: 10PM ET

Where2Watch: LEAGUE PASS, CSN-CA, Sun Sports

Where2Listen: NBA Game Time Audio, LEAGUE PASS Audio, KHTK Sports 1140 AM, 104.3 The Ticket

All-Time Head-to-Head: The two have played 51 times, and Miami has won 34 of them. Their resultant 66.7% success rate ranks as Miami's third-best in history, behind the Washington Bullets/Wizards (67.6%) and the Toronto Raptors (69.6%).

Current Standings

Miami HEAT: 17-22, .436, on pace for 36-46. Third in the Southeast Division, seventh in the Eastern Conference, 18th in the NBA. Playoff Odds: 41.8%. Last 10: W-L-L-L-L-W-L-W-W-L.

Sacramento Kings: 16-22, .421, on pace for 35-47. Fourth in the Pacific Division, 12th in the Western Conference, 19th in the NBA. Playoff Odds: 0.7%. L-W-L-L-W-L-W-L-W-L.

Probable Starting Lineups

PG - Shabazz Napier
SG - Mario Chalmers
SF - Luol Deng
PF - Chris Bosh
C - Hassan Whiteside

PG - Darren Collison
SG - Ben McLemore
SF - Rudy Gay
PF - Jason Thompson
C - DeMarcus Cousins

Check back with us around 9:30 for your live gamethread. In the meantime, bookmark Hot Hot Hoops for all of your HEAT news.