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Game Preview: Heat host Bucks in another must-win game

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A win against the #1 Bucks would go a long way to securing a playoff berth.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat are playing some of their best basketball of the season in their bid to secure a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and tonight they host the Milwaukee Bucks in a potential first round preview.

Miami improved to 5-1 for the month of March with a convincing blowout victory against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday, highlighted by an impressive 21-0 run to start the second half that was largely fueled by their defense. At one point in the fourth quarter, Miami enjoyed a season-best 34-point lead as they crushed one of the East teams above them in the standings. Winners of six of their last eight games, the Heat maintained control of the eighth and final playoff seed — now just 1.5 games over the Orlando Magic.

That much-improved defense, which limited the Pistons to just eight points and two field goals in that fateful third quarter and a season-low 74 points for a Heat opponent, will be put to the test against the mighty Bucks who scored 130, including 45 in the third quarter, against the New Orleans Pelicans as they cruised to another win and improved to an NBA-best 51-17.

The fourth and final game in the season series takes place next Friday in Milwaukee.

Game Info

When: Friday, March 15 at 8:00 p.m. ET

Where: AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL

TV: Fox Sports Sun

Win Probability: According the FiveThirtyEight the Heat have a 28% chance to win at home.

Probable Starters

Milwaukee: Malcolm Brogdon, Eric Bledsoe, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez

Miami: Justise Winslow, Dion Waiters, Josh Richardson, Kelly Olynyk, Bam Adebayo

Injury Report

Bucks: Sterling Brown (wrist) is out.

Heat: Dwyane Wade (bruised elbow) is listed as day-to-day.

What To Watch For

Limiting Giannis is key of course, but a total team effort, like the one on full display against Detroit in which seven Heat players scored in double figures, could make this game very intriguing with so much at stake.

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