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GAME PREVIEW: Heat hit the road with Butler to face Hornets

After a disastrous homestand, the Heat search for answers on the road.

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Miami Heat Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports

GAME STORY

The Miami Heat (22-23) have now lost five straight games, including as part of a four-game homestand, as they begin a road trip with tonight’s matchup against the Charlotte Hornets (22-21).

The hosts have won four straight at the Spectrum Center and they were victorious in their first meeting against the Heat 129-121 on Feb. 1 in Miami, where they were led by Malik Monk who scored 36 points.

After last night’s disappointing loss in which they allowed a late lead to slip away to the Portland Trail Blazers, the Heat are desperate for a win to get back to .500 as they wait for newcomers Victor Oladipo and Nemanja Bjelica to be incorporated into the team. Jimmy Butler (stomach illness) is traveling with the team, but the Heat are reporting that Goran Dragic (back) did not travel — though he could still possibly rejoin the team during their three-game road trip.

Charlotte bounced back after three straight losses against the Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers to open a five-game road trip with a pair of wins against the San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets before heading home. Unfortunately their star rookie point guard LaMelo Ball, widely regarded as the leading candidate for Rookie of the Year, fractured his right wrist during their game last Saturday against the Clippers and will be out for the rest of the season. They were also active during yesterday’s NBA trade deadline, acquiring guard Brad Wanamaker from the Golden State Warriors in exchange for Cady Lalanne and cash considerations.

ODDS: FiveThirtyEight gives the Heat a 48% chance to win the game.

HEAT VS HORNETS: FRIDAY, MARCH 26 AT 8:00 PM.

INJURIES

MIAMI:

  • Udonis Haslem: out (health and safety protocols)
  • KZ Okpala: out (health and safety protocols)
  • Goran Dragic: out (back)
  • Jimmy Butler: day-to-day (illness)

CHARLOTTE:

  • LaMelo Ball: out (wrist)

LINEUPS

Projected Starters

Bucks Position Heat
Bucks Position Heat
Jrue Holiday PG Goran Dragic
Bryn Forbes SG Duncan Robinson
Khris Middleton SF Jimmy Butler
Giannis Antetokounmpo PF Trevor Ariza
Brook Lopez C Bam Adebayo

BROADCAST INFO

TV: FOX SPORTS SUN
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)

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