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Miami Heat mercifully end 3-game road trip against the Los Angeles Lakers

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Miami looks for answers against a team that exposed its defenseless transition defense.

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Miami Heat Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Heat (36-33) finish their brief 3-game road trip apparently locked into the last playoff spot versus the lottery-bound Los Angeles Lakers (31-37).

Game Information

When: Friday, March 16 at 10:30 p.m. ET

Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA

TV: FSSUN, NBATV

Radio: WAXY 790AM, WAQI 710AM (Spanish)

Win probability: ESPN predictor gives Lakers a 55% chance to win.

Probable Starters

HEAT: Goran Dragic, Tyler Johnson, Luke Babbitt, James Johnson, Bam Adebayo

LAKERS: Lonzo Ball, Isaiah Thomas, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Julius Randle, Brook Lopez

Injury Report

HEAT: Dion Waiters (out, ankle), Dwyane Wade (out, left hamstring), Hassan Whiteside (out, hip flexor), Josh Richardson (questionable, left-foot soreness)

LAKERS: Channing Frye (out, appendectomy), Josh Hart (out, left hand fracture), Brandom Ingram (out, left groin strain), Kyle Kuzma (questionable, right ankle sprain)

Scouting Report

This game is their second and final meeting of the season, after the Lakers exposed Miami’s non-existent transition defense in an earlier 131-113 win for the Lakers.

The Lakers seem to bring out the best in Justise Winslow: last season he had a career night against them with 23 points, 13 rebounds, 4 steals, and this season he scored 17 points on 7 of 11 shooting, including 3 of 4 3-pointers, had 5 assists, 2 assists and 2 steals.

Bam Adebayo did well against the Lakers, going 6 of 7 from the field, to go along with 10 rebounds.

Unfortunately the rest of the team and coaching staff came into the previous game unprepared for a change-of-pace, seemingly being on the court to collect their guaranteed paychecks, whether or not the team won or lost.

A quote by legendary football coach Knute Rockne , whose .881 (105-12-5) winning percentage is the highest in major college football coaching history, summarizes what’s needed to break Miami’s nine-game road losing streak.

“On the road we’re somebody else’s guests - and we play in a way that they’re not going to forget we visited them.”

The Heat might well go under the under .500 mark soon, because their next 5 opponents after tonight’s game are:

Probably the Phoenix Suns have been following the Heat, since losses by Miami give them a better draft pick this summer. The Heat though, have four first-round draft picks in the five years after 2018.