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HHH GameTime Preview: Nets Visit Miami

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The Heat look to hit eight in a row tonight against the visiting Brooklyn Nets.

NBA: Miami Heat at Brooklyn Nets Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight at 7:30 PM local time, the Miami Heat will host the Brooklyn Nets at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, Florida. This will be the second of three games this season between Miami and Brooklyn. They’ll play for the final time on February 10th at Barclay’s Center in New Jersey.

Miami (18-30) is looking to extend their season-high seven-game winning streak. They’ve taken the seven consecutive games by an average of 7.5 points per game. Tonight’s contest will mark the second of a four-game homestand for Miami. After this, they’ll host the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday and the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday.

The Nets are finishing up on a three-game road trip. They lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers, 124-116 on Friday night and the Minnesota Timberwolves, 129-109 on Saturday. After tonight’s game, they’ll go home to host the New York Knicks, the Indiana Pacers, and the Toronto Raptors in a three-game homestand.

The last time Miami played Brooklyn was on January 25th. Miami earned their fourth-win in a row, half way through their current win streak, with a 109-106 win at Barclay’s Center. Dion Waiters scored 24 points on 10-of-18 shooting, with eight helpers and five rebounds to lead Miami. Wayne Ellington scored 22 off the bench, making four-of-seven three-pointers, and Goran Dragic had 17 points with nine rebounds, nine assists, and a pair of steals. Brook Lopez led the Nets with a game-high 33 points, making 11-of-23 shots overall and seven-of-14 from deep.

Waiters talked about his game-clinching three-pointer after the game:

You can never shy away from that. You just can't be afraid of taking them shots. I just wanted to get it over with and fortunately I made the shot. - Waiters

Miami’s last game was a 116-103 win over the Detroit Pistons, Saturday night in Miami. Goran Dragic scored 23, Wayne Ellington scored 19 on seven-for-10 shooting, James Johnson scored 18 with eight boards, five helpers, and two steals, and Dion Waiters pitched in with 17, seven assists, and three rebounds. Miami won despite an all-star level effort from opposing big-man Andre Drummond, who abused the glass for 20 rebounds (to go with his 17 points for the game). He also had three steals, two blocks, and an assist.

We are clicking on all cylinders. - Waiters

Brooklyn’s last game was a 129-109 loss to the Timberwolves, at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Brook Lopez scored 25 points with seven rebounds to led the Nets in a losing effort. Karl-Anthony Towns scored 37 points on a 15-for-26 night, with 13 rebounds and four blocked shots to pace the T-Wolves. He was one of four players with 18 or more points in the game, and one-of-six in double figures.

I felt like they dominated us. We couldn’t stop them. We got to do better. - Nets coach Kenny Atkinson

GameTime: 7:30PM EST

All-Time Heat-to-Head: Miami owns a 67-46 edge in head-to-head play against the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets over the years. Their .593 winning percentage counts as their fifth-best against any team.

Standings

Miami Heat: 18-30, .375, five games behind the eighth-seeded Charlotte Hornets. Fifth in the Southeast Division, 13th in the Eastern Conference, 25th in the NBA. Last Five: W-W-W-W-W.

Brooklyn Nets: 9-38, .191, 13.5 games behind eighth-seeded Hornets. Fifth in the Atlantic Division, 15th in the Eastern Conference, 30th in the NBA. Last Five: L-L-L-L-L.

Milestones

Goran Dragic will pass Willie Burton into 34th with 12 minutes played, giving him 4,661 on the court with Miami. He’ll also tie Burton if he scores 13 points, moving into a tie for 23rd with 2,252 overall. Six more three-pointers will tie him in 25th all-time with Rasual Butler and Bimbo Coles, with 157.

Wayne Ellington recently broke into Miami’s all-time top-50 three-point shooters, and will move into a tie for 48th with LaPhonso Ellis tonight if he makes two more, for 65 in total.

Tyler Johnson, if he plays, will break into Miami’s top-50 distributors with nine assists, tying Michael Beasley with 257.

Probable Starters

Miami:
PG - Goran Dragic
SG - Rodney McGruder
C - Hassan Whiteside
SF - Dion Waiters
PF - Luke Babbitt

Brooklyn:
PG - Spencer Dinwiddie
SG - Randy Foye
C - Brook Lopez
SF - Bojan Bogdanovic
PF - Trevor Booker