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HHH GameTime Preview: Heat Host Cavaliers

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Miami will try to get the better of the Cleveland Cavaliers at the AAA, tonight at 8PM.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Heat will tip off against the Cleveland Cavaliers at the AmericanAirlines Arena tonight at 8PM. It's the second of three games this season between LeBron’s two teams. The Cavs won 102-92 on October 30th, and the season finale is set for March 19th, also in Miami.

For Miami, this is the third game of a four game homestand. They lost to the Boston Celtics 105-95 on Monday and defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder, 97-95 on Thursday. They'll close it against the Washington Wizards on Monday.

The Cavs are playing in the second game of a two-game roadtrip. They lost to the New Orleans Pelicans, 114-108 in overtime last night and will return to Quicken Loans Arena for their next game, against the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday.

These two teams last met on October 30th. The 1-1 Cavs hosted the 1-0 Heat at QLA in Cleveland at 7PM. Kevin Love scored 24 points with 14 rebounds, and LeBron James had 29 with five boards. For the Heat, Dwyane Wade had 25 points, Chris Bosh had 16 with five rebounds, and Hassan Whiteside had 11 points, nine rebounds, and six blocked shots.

NBA.COM recap

Honestly, a lot of times we shot ourselves in the foot by not getting into our offense. We’ve got a long way to go. It's just going to take time. - Bosh

BKRef Box.

Fear The Sword has more on the Cavs.

Miami's last game was a 97-95 win against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Dwayne Wade had 28 points, four boards and four assists, Chris Bosh had 16 points with eight rebounds, and Goran Dragic pitched in with 14 and seven assists. Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant each scored 25 for the Thunder.

NBA.COM recap

My stomach's in knots. These guys love it. They love it. This is what you play for. - Heat coach Erik Spoelstra

BKREF box score

Welcome to Loud City has more on OKC.

Cleveland’s last game would see them take a fall from grace with an eight-point road loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. Anthony Davis led the birds with 31 points, 12 boards and four steals, while LeBron James had 37 with eight assists and seven rebounds.

NBA.COM recap

We played a pretty good game tonight. We had some defensive lows in the third quarter. We did not play a 48-minute game, and if one or two guys breaks down it breaks the whole team down. - James

bkref.com box score

The Bird Writes should be your source for Pelicans news.

GameTime: 8PM

All-Time: This will be the 100th contest between the Cavs and Miami. The Heat currently hold a 57-42 edge in head-to-head combat.

Standings

Miami Heat: 11-6, .647, on pace for 53-29. First in the Southeast Division, fourth in the Eastern Conference, sixth in the NBA. Last Five: W-L-W-L-W.

Cleveland Cavaliers: 13-6, .684, on pace for 56-26. Second in the Central Division, second in the Eastern Conference, fourth in the NBA. Last Five: L-W-W-L-L.

Injury Report

Heat

Luol Deng 2015-11-25 Hamstring Deng has missed the last four games with an injured hamstring and is questionable to return Saturday against the Cavaliers.
Amar'e Stoudemire 2015-11-23 Illness Stoudemire has missed the last five games due to an illness and is questionable to suit up Saturday against the Cavaliers.

Cavs

Kyrie Irving 2015-09-23 Knee Irving is recovering from a knee injury and is expected to make his season debut sometime around Christmas.
Iman Shumpert 2015-09-29 Wrist Shumpert had surgery on his wrist and is expected to miss 12-to-14 weeks.

Common Thread

Luol Deng played in 40 games for the Cavaliers in 2014, averaging 14.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 2.5 assists.

So....it seems that LeBron James used to play for the Heat? In 294 games he averaged 25.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 1.6 steals per game, helping Miami represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA finals in each of his four seasons with the team, winning two.

James Jones played six seasons with the Heat, from 2008 until 2014. He appeared in 266 games overall and served as a three point specialist, scoring 75% of his 1,132 points from outside the arc, shooting 40.8%.

James Posey, currently an assistant on Cleveland's coaching staff, played two seasons for the Heat, scoring 7.5 points with 4.9 rebounds per game.

Milestones

If Deng appears and hits five field goals, he will move into Miami's all-time top 50, displacing Alec Kessler with 425. Three more three-pointers will tie him in 37th with Rashard Lewis with 97. Three more free throws will tie him in 41st with Anthony Carter at 210. He'll tie Ricky Davis in 48th with 21 points scored, at 1,162.

Chris Bosh needs five free throws to tie Glen Rice in sixth all-time with 1,332. One steal will tie him at 11th with Rony Seikaly, at 312.

Only 65 games into his Heat career, and Hassan Whiteside will tie James Posey in 41st all-time with seven rebounds, at 676. He has 200 blocks, and will tie Chris Andersen in 13th if he collects two more blocks than the Bird.

Udonis Haslem will move into eighth all-time in blocks with two, tying Eddie Jones with 246.

Check back here at Hot Hot Hoops for the live GameThread, tonight around 8PM.