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Game Preview: Heat visit Celtics in first game of back-to-back set

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Miami may be shorthanded but they need to keep winning to stay in the playoff hunt.

NBA: Miami Heat at Boston Celtics David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat (38-38) continue their late push to reach the postseason when they visit the Boston Celtics (45-32) on Monday night. The two teams will then face off again for a rematch at the AmericanAirlines Arena on Wednesday.

Boston has been struggling with inconsistency throughout the season, much like the Heat, as they fight for playoff positioning. Gordon Hayward is looking more and more like the player Boston signed almost two years ago, leading his team with 19 points and six rebounds off the bench in their last game, a 110-96 loss to the Brooklyn Nets. The Celtics had won two in a row prior to Saturday’s game to break a four-game losing streak.

Meanwhile, the Heat are on an encouraging 6-2 run and are back to .500 as they seek to close out the NBA regular season playing their best stretch of basketball so far. They’ll need every win they can get to make it to the playoffs, plus a little good luck with so many teams fighting for the remaining Eastern Conference playoff spots. They’ll have to do it with a few key players continuing to miss time, and they may also be without Derrick Jones Jr. as well tonight. They are currently just a game behind the Detroit Pistons for the sixth seed, but also hold just a half game lead over the Orlando Magic for the eighth and final seed.

Projected Starters:

Heat: Goran Dragic, Dion Waiters, Derrick Jones Jr., Kelly Olynyk, Bam Adebayo

Celtics: Kyrie Irving, Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford, Aron Baynes

Injury Report:

Heat: Justise Winslow (thigh), Rodney McGruder (knee), Josh Richardson (heel) are all out. Derrick Jones Jr. (personal reasons) is questionable.

Celtics: Al Horford (knee soreness) is listed as probable.

Broadcast Info:

Tip-Off: 7:30 PM

TV: FOX Sports Sun (Eric Reid, John Crotty, Jason Jackson)

Radio: The Ticket 790AM & The HEAT Radio Network (Mike Inglis, Ruth Riley Hunter)

Spanish Radio: WAQI 710AM & The HEAT Spanish Radio Network (José Pañeda, Joe Pujala)