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Tyler Johnson, Wayne Ellington doubtful against Pistons

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Both players sat out Thursday night’s game against the Lakers.

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Miami Heat Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off the Miami Heat’s scintillating win over the Philadelphia 76ers Tuesday, Miami looked to be in good shape. The Heat had just defeated a team ahead of them in the standings, and it seemed Miami’s mid-season rut may have been over. Maybe the Heat could climb higher in the standings than the No. 8 seed, which they currently hold. Plus, the Heat’s next game was against the rebuilding Los Angeles Lakers.

Well, in case you missed it, the Lakers blew out the Heat Thursday night. And Miami’s next game? Against the Detroit Pistons, the ninth seed and just two-and-a-half games behind the Heat in the standings.

And Erik Spoelstra said today that Tyler Johnson and Wayne Ellington, who both got injured in Tuesday’s win over the Sixers and sat out last night’s loss to the Lakers, are doubtful for Saturday’s crucial game against the Pistons.

Both Johnson and Ellington are key players for the Heat, and Dwyane Wade may need to continue shouldering the offensive burden with those two guards out. It’s hard to overstate Saturday’s game, and we’ll see if this shorthanded Heat team can show they’re more like the team that won eight straight games in January or the team that has struggled mightily as of late.