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GAME PREVIEW: Heat hit road for critical matchup with Westbrook, OKC

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The Miami Heat look to continue their winning ways as they face the reigning MVP in Russell Westbrook.

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at Miami Heat Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat hit the road for two difficult, but critical games against the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Indiana Pacers. On Friday, they’ll play the Thunder who will have the advantage of an extra day rest. The Thunder lost on Tuesday to the Boston Celtics after surrendering a 5-point lead in the closing seconds.

Miami is coming off a route of the New York Knicks that showed promise for the Heat’s offense. They’ll have to play some good defense to be able to defend OKC’s tough trio of players headlined by reigning MVP Russell Westbrook.

The Thunder are 43-30 while the Heat are 39-33, and each team is battling for playoff position.

Game Info

When: Friday, March 23 at 8:00 p.m. ET
Where: AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL
TV: Fox Sports Sun, NBALP
Win Probabilities: Miami has a 24% chance of winning, according to FiveThirtyEight.

Probable Starters

Oklahoma City: Russell Westbrook, Corey Brewer, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, Steven Adams
Miami: Goran Dragic, Tyler Johnson, Josh Richardson, James Johnson, Bam Adebayo

Injury Report

Thunder: Andre Roberson (Out)
Heat: Dion Waiters (Out, Ankle), Dwyane Wade (Out, Hamstring), Hassan Whiteside (Out, Hip)

What To Watch For

Can the Heat deal with Steven Adams sans Whiteside?

Adams is a beast down low cleaning up the messes. Without Whiteside, it will primarily be on Bam Adebayo to control him, maybe some from Kelly Olynyk. But the Heat need to keep Adams in check if they want to get a win. That seems weird to say, but he is the one the Heat will have trouble matching up with...oh and Westbrook.

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