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HHH GameTime Preview: Cavaliers visit Miami

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The Heat welcome LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, FL.

Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Tonight at 7:30PM, the Miami Heat will host the Cleveland Cavaliers at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, FL. This is the third and final contest this (regular) season between the two. Miami lost the first, 102-92 in Cleveland on October 30th, then won the second in Miami, 99-84 on December 5th.

The Heat are closing out a three-game homestand. They started it out with a 124-119 win over the Denver Nuggets on Monday before dropping a 109-106 decision to the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday night. After this, they'll take to the road to play the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday and the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.

Cleveland is playing in the second-game of a two-game back-to-back Florida roadtrip. They defeated the Orlando Magic, 109-103 last night. They'll head back home to host the Nuggets on Monday and the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.

The last time Miami played Cleveland was right here on December 5th, when the Heat were victorious with a 99-84 final score. Tyler Johnson and Dwyane Wade led the Heat with 19 points each. Wade added five rebounds and four helpers, while Johnson had five boards of his own. Goran Dragic scored 17 with eight assists, Chris Bosh scored 14 with six rebounds, and Gerald Green scored a dozen before fouling out. Richard Jefferson led the LeBron-less Cavs with 16 points.

It would have been great to play against LeBron. We'll see him next time. - Wade

More on Cleveland can be found at Fear The Sword.

On Thursday night, the Heat lost to the Charlotte Hornets, 109-106 despite shooting over 50% as a team (59.7% as a team when you remove Wade's three-for-13 performance). Luol Deng led the bunch with 22 points and nine rebounds, Josh Richardson had 18 with four boards, Hassan Whiteside had 17 with seven rebounds, and Goran Dragic scored 16 with eight assists and seven rebounds. Kemba Walker and Al Jefferson each scored 21 points in the Hornets victory.

There's not much margin for error for either team. It's competition at its finest and you not only have to compete at a high level, you have to play well and make plays under duress, under the context of game, time, score, all of that. And you have to credit Charlotte. Any time it seemed like we had some momentum ... they came back. - Heat coach Erik Spoelstra

At The Hive has more on Charlotte.

Cleveland's last game was a 109-103 win on the road against the Orlando Magic, last night. Kyrie Irving led the Cavs with 26 points and five assists, LeBron James scored 18 with eight helpers and seven rebounds, Kevin Love scored 14 with six boards, and Tristan Thompson scored 11 points with 15 rebounds. Victor Oladipo scored 45 points in the loss, hitting 16-of-22 shots, but Evan Fournier was the only other Magic player with more than 10, scoring 18.

Orlando Pinstriped Post has more Magic news.

GameTime: 7:30PM, FS-Sun, FS-Ohio

All-Time Head-to-Heat: Miami is 58-42 all-time against the Cavs, their eighth-best record against any opponent.

Standings

Miami Heat: 39-29, .574, on pace for 47-35. Tied for second in the Southeast Division with Charlotte, tied for fourth in the Eastern Conference, tied for eighth in the NBA. Last Five: L-W-L-W-L. Playoff Odds: 99.3%

Cleveland Cavaliers: 49-19, .721, on pace for 59-23. First in the Central Division, first in the Eastern Conference, third in the NBA. Last Five: W-W-L-W-W. Playoff Odds: 100.0%

Milestones

Hassan Whiteside will pass Joel Anthony and Tim Hardaway into 17th all-time with 11 more rebounds. He currently has 1,170. 37 more blocks will move him into a tie for fifth all-time with Shaquille O'Neal. He needs 13 points to pass Lamar Odom into 41st, with 1,372 points.

Goran Dragic needs 30 points to pass Rasual Butler into 48th all-time. Dwyane Wade needs 14 points to pass the 20,000 mark for his career, he currently ranks 41st on the NBA's all-time leaderboard in the category.

Injury Report

Miami Heat: Chris Bosh (calf) may play as soon as Friday. Tyler Johnson (shoulder) is listed as available possibly starting April 2nd.

Cleveland Cavaliers: Mo Williams (knee) will not appear tonight, but may be back for Cleveland's next game.

Starters

Miami Heat
PG - Goran Dragic
SG - Dwyane Wade
C - Amar'e Stoudemire
SF - Joe Johnson
PF - Luol Deng

Cleveland Cavaliers
PG - Kyrie Irving
SG - JR Smith
C - Timofey Mozgov
SF - LeBron James
PF - Kevin Love

Check back here for the GameThread, going live just before tipoff.