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GAME PREVIEW: Heat host a Thunder team locked in a tight Western Conference playoff chase

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Heat are assured of playoff spot, but next two games will determine who they face in first round.

NBA: Miami Heat at Oklahoma City Thunder Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat (43-37) host the Oklahoma City Thunder (46-34), who are one of five teams battling for the last four playoff spots in the Western Conference.

Game Information

When: Monday, April 9 at 7:30 p.m. ET

Where: AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL

TV: Fox Sports SUN, NBALP

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

Win probability: ESPN predictor has Miami as 52% favorites.

Probable Starters

HEAT: Goran Dragic, Tyler Johnson, Josh Richardson, James Johnson, Hassan Whiteside

THUNDER: Russell Westbrook, Corey Brewer, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, Steven Adams

Injury Report

HEAT: Dion Waiters (out, ankle)

THUNDER: Andre Roberson (out, left patellar surgery)

Summary

The Thunder defeated the Heat, 105-99, in their only other meeting this season, in Oklahoma City on March 23, with a 41-point 4th quarter outburst.

Both Paul George (2010) and Tyler Johnson (2014) are Fresno State University basketball alumni.

From OKC Game Notes

Oklahoma City is currently one of just five teams in the league to be in the Top 12 in both offensive and defensive efficiency.

Oklahoma City leads the league in steals per game (9.08) and in opponent turnovers per game (16.1).

Additionally, the Thunder tops the NBA leaderboard for deflections per game (16.9), forced turnovers on 16.0% of opponent possessions, which tops the league, and recovers the most loose balls each game (9.6).

Additionally the Thunder lead the NBA in rebounds on offense (1009) and steals (726).

While Miami has cemented a playoff berth, the Thunder, San Antonio Spurs, and New Orleans Pelicans all at 46-34 have not clinched a playoff berth in the Western Conference.

Going from a 29-point win to a 24-point loss against two lottery teams, Heat fans hope the winning side of the team shows up for the next-to-the-last game of the season.