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GAME PREVIEW: Heat visit LeBron, Cavs in crucial matchup

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The Heat have a chance to move into 3rd in the East with a win over the Cavaliers.

NBA: Miami Heat at Cleveland Cavaliers David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat continue a four-game road trip as they visit the Cleveland Cavaliers. Miami (29-21) is only one-half game back from the Cavs (29-20) for third place in the Eastern Conference. This game is critical not only for the time being, but also because the Heat and Cavs only play three times this season. Cleveland has already won the first, and so this is a must-win for Miami if they hope to have a tie-breaker against them.

The Heat started their road trip with a win on Monday in Dallas. Last night, the Cavaliers lost to the Detroit Pistons on the road, and in the process also lost Kevin love to a hand injury. He’s rumored to be out 6-8 weeks. That’s a major blow for them because the Cavs have been struggling lately.

The Heat will hope to capitalize on all of this and get a needed victory.

Game Info

When: Wednesday, January 31 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
TV: Fox Sports Sun, NBALP
Win Probabilities: Miami has a 39% chance of winning, according to FiveThirtyEight.

Probable Starters

Cleveland: Isaiah Thomas, J.R. Smith, LeBron James, Jae Crowder, Tristan Thompson
Miami: Goran Dragic, Tyler Johnson, Josh Richardson, James Johnson, Hassan Whiteside

Injury Report

Cavs: Kevin Love (Out, Hand)
Heat: Rodney McGruder (Out, Leg Fracture), Okaro White (Out, Foot), Dion Waiters (Out, Ankle)

What To Watch For

Will Defense of Offense win the game?

The Cavaliers are a top 5 offensive team and the Heat are a top 5 defensive team (when it comes to PPG). So which style is going to be the one the wins the game, or can someone win at the other’s speciality. The Heat would love to keep Cleveland under 100 points and that’s what we are watching for in this game.

Dwyane Wade

He plays for the Cavs now if you didn’t know. Have you decided whether you are cheering for him or against him? Or is it one of those I hope he does great but doesn’t win. Relationship Status: It’s Complicated.

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