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HHH GameTime Preview: Heat Host Sixers

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Miami will try to kickstart another winning streak tonight at home.

NBA: Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight at 7:30PM ET, the Miami Heat will host the Philadelphia 76ers at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, Florida. This will be the fourth and final contest this season between the two. The home team has won each of the first three, with Philadelphia earning 101-94 and 117-109 wins on November 21st and February 11th, respectively. Miami won on February 4th, 125-102.

Miami is in the middle of an eight-game stretch where they’re alternating games at home with games on the road. After this one, they’ll take the shortest road trip possible, for a matchup with the Orlando Magic on Friday night. They’ll be home the following night for the first game of a two-game home-and-home series with the defending NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Sixers are ending a six-game stretch of alternating home and away games, and will now return to Philadelphia for a three-game series against the New York Knicks on Friday, the Detroit Pistons on Saturday, and the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday.

The last time Miami played Philadelphia was on February 11th, when the Sixers broke Miami’s 13-game winning streak with a 117-109 victory. Goran Dragic scored a game-high 30 points with five boards, two assists and two steals. Hassan Whiteside had 12 points and 19 rebounds, Wayne Ellington scored 16 wtih five rebounds, James Johnson came off the bench for 26 with four rebounds, three helpers and two blocks, and Tyler Johnson kicked in 17 with five dimes and three rebounds.

Miami’s last time out would see them drop a 96-89 decision to the Dallas Mavericks. Seth Curry led the Mavs with 29 points on 10-of-17 shooting, and Harrison Barnes pitched in with 24 points and four rebounds. Goran Dragic scored 24 for Miami, with six assists, five rebounds, and three steals. Hassan Whiteside had 19 points with as many rebounds, and Dion Waiters had 12 points with six assists, five boards, and three steals.

Philadelphia’s last game was a 119-108 loss to the defending Western Conference Champion Golden State Warriors. Every Golden State starter finished in double digits, led by Kevin Durant’s 27 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Klay Thompson had 21, Stephen Curry scored 19 with six assists and four rebounds, Zaza Pachulia had 16 with five boards, and Draymond Green notched a double-double with 14 points, 11 assists, six rebounds and five steals.

GameTime: 7:30PM, AmericanAirlines Arena

Line: Miami has an 81.4% chance of victory, according to numberFire.com. The site has actually projected Miami to sweep the Five Stars in the game, with the five players on top of those particular standings, Hassan Whiteside, Goran Dragic, Dion Waiters, James Johnson, and Tyler Johnson.

All-Time Head-to-Heat: At 57-55, Miami’s .509 win percentage against Philadelphia is their 16th best against all NBA clubs.

Standings

Heat: 27-33, .450, third in the Southeast Division, nine games behind the division leading Washington Wizards. Ninth in the Eastern Conference, 15 games behind the Conference leading Cavaliers. Tied for 16th in the NBA with the Denver Nuggets. On Pace for a 37-45 season. Last Five: L-W-W-W-L. Playoff Odds: 32.6%

Sixers: 22-37, .373, fourth in the Atlantic Division, 15.5 games behind the division leading Boston Celtics. 13th in the Eastern Conference, 19.5 games behind the Cavaliers. 26th in the NBA. On pace for a 31-51 season. Last Five: W-L-W-L-L. Playoff Odds: 0.2%

Probable Starters

76ers
PG - T.J. McConnell
SG - Gerald Henderson
SF - Robert Covington
PF - Dario Saric
C - Jahlil Okafor

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