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GAME PREVIEW: Heat return home to host Warriors

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After a gritty win in Indiana last night, the Heat return to business at the AA Arena.

Miami Heat v Indiana Pacers Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images

GAME STORY

The Miami Heat (24-24) are once again a .500 team and back home at the AmericanAirlines Arena tonight to host the Golden State Warriors (23-24) after a pair of road wins against the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers helped undo the damage caused from their recent six-game slide.

Most exciting tonight will be the expected debut of Victor Oladipo, who was acquired last week at the NBA trade deadline but who hasn’t been able to play for his new team yet due to illness. How coach Erik Spoelstra will incorporate the former All-Star into the rotation will be very interesting to watch, though Oladipo may not play extended minutes if he’s still on the mend.

For the Warriors, sharpshooting guard Stephen Curry made a triumphant return to the court with 32 points, five rebounds and six assists in 30 minutes after a five-game absence to lead them to victory against the visiting Chicago Bulls in their last game. Although he played well, Curry said after the game that he was still dealing with some pain from his bruised tailbone injury so he may still be limited tonight — for what it’s worth. Golden State had lost four of the five games he had missed due to the injury and are just 9-15 on the road this season.

The Heat managed to climb up the standings to the No. 5 seed thanks to their two victories coupled with losses from other East teams, but they must rack up home wins for that to happen and they’re currently on a four-game losing streak at the AA Arena with just a 12-12 home record for the season.

This is the second time these two teams face each other this season, with the Warriors defeating the Heat 120-112 in overtime in their first encounter on Feb. 17. Jimmy Butler notched a triple-double with 13 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists and the Heat never trailed in regulation but still managed to lose in overtime thanks to Curry’s hot shooting in the overtime period.

ODDS: FiveThirtyEight gives the Heat a 66% chance to win the game.

INJURIES

MIAMI:

  • Udonis Haslem: out (health and safety protocols)
  • KZ Okpala: out (health and safety protocols)
  • Victor Oladipo: questionable (illness)
  • Kendrick Nunn: questionable (ankle)

INDIANA:

  • Eric Paschall: day to day (wrist)
  • Klay Thompson: out for season (right achilles)

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: Bally 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)

Come back to Hot Hot Hoops at game time to join our GameThread and chat about the game live with other Heat fans!