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HHH GameTime Preview: Nets Visit Miami

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The HEAT is six games below .500 for the first time in eight years. Can they win against the Brooklyn Nets?

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight at 6PM, the HEAT will host the Brooklyn Nets at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, FL. This will be the third of four contests this season between the Eastern Conference rivals. Miami won the first two, 95-83 on November 17th and 95-91 on December 16th. They'll play in Miami one last time on March 11th.

Miami has lost four straight, and is playing a home game in between a two game road trip (both losses) and a five-game roadtrip. They'll head out after this matchup to visit the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday, the Los Angeles Clippers next Sunday, the Los Angeles Lakers next Tuesday, the Golden State Warriors the next night, and the Sacramento Kings on January 16th.

The Nets are closing a three game roadtrip. They defeated the Chicago Bulls 96-82 on Tuesday and the Orlando Magic, 100-98 on Friday. They have won six of seven, and stand a chance of getting above .500 for the first time since mid-November. They'll go on to visit the Dallas Mavericks on Monday, the Boston Celtics on Wednesday, and the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday.

The last time the HEAT played the Nets was on December 16th. Miami led by 10 at halftime and held on to defeat Brooklyn by four. Dwyane Wade led Miami with 28 points, five rebounds and four assists, Luol Deng pitched in with 18 points, six boards and four dimes, and Shabazz Napier, Mario Chalmers, and Shawne Williams combined for 31 points off the bench, with 12 rebounds, eight assists, and six steals. Mason Plumlee led four Nets in double figures with 21 points on eight-of-12 shooting, with nine rebounds. Joe Johnson had 16, Deron Williams had 15 with 11 assists, and Kevin Garnett had 10 rebounds in the loss. * Box Score * Full Recap

I had three pieces of toast and two bananas. That's all I had to eat today, but it got me through. If I'm going to be out here I might as well do something. Otherwise I might as well have stayed in the hotel. - Wade, who had been sick with a stomach virus.

NetsDaily has more on Brooklyn.

Miami's last game was one they'd rather forget. The Houston Rockets outscored the HEAT 71-to-33 through the second and third quarters last night on their way to a 115-79 victory. James Harden scored 28 points, Dwight Howard totaled 23 with 13 rebounds, and Josh Smith came off the bench for 12 points and six rebounds. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh hit a combined nine-for-23, scoring 15 points each. Hassan Whiteside continued to impress, with 14 points on six-of-eight shooting, along with six rebounds. * Full Recap

I'm not trying to figure things out. I'm just trying to win a game and trying to stop answering all these questions. - Bosh, when asked about what was wrong with the HEAT.

Visit the Rockets SB Nation blog, at The Dream Shake.

The Nets defeated the Orlando Magic, 100-98 on Friday night. Mason Plumlee had 18 points with nine boards, Deron Williams came off the bench for 16 with seven assists, and Joe Johnson had 14 points, four rebounds, and four assists for Brooklyn. The Magic were led by Elfrid Payton, who scored 16 with 10 dimes, nine rebounds, and three steals. Victor Oladipo had 17 points, and Ben Gordon scored 14 in 19 minutes in relief. * Box Score * Full Recap

First three quarters were great for us. We played well on both ends of the floor. We created a lot of easy opportunities, especially on offense. Defense was great. When you're down, you're kind of playing carefree. We looked like we were playing just to hang on instead of going ahead and closing out the game. - Williams

Orlando Pinstriped Post is your source for the Magic.

GameTime: 6PM ET

Where2Watch: LEAGUE PASS, YES, Sun Sports

Head2Head: This will be the 107th matchup between the Nets and the HEAT, Miami's second most common opponent. Miami holds a 61-45 edge.

Current Standings

Miami HEAT: 14-20, .412, on pace for 34-48. Third in the Southeast Division, eighth in the Eastern Conference, tied for 19th in the NBA. Last Five: W-L-L-L-L. Playoff Odds: 19.8%

Brooklyn Nets: 16-16, .500, on pace for 41-41. Second in the Atlantic Division, tied for sixth in the Eastern Conference, tied for 15th in the NBA. Last Five: W-L-W-W-W. Playoff Odds: 78.5%