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GAME PREVIEW: Resurgent Heat host struggling Cavaliers tonight

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Miami has an excellent opportunity to increase their win streak tonight.

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Miami Heat Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

GAME STORY

The Miami Heat (25-24) are back on track after their recent six-game slide with a three-game win streak and another excellent opportunity to keep it going when they host the Cleveland Cavaliers (17-31).

Cleveland has a 6-18 road record this season and are on a current four-game losing streak, losing by 20 points to the visiting Philadelphia 76ers, who were without Joel Embiid, in their last game. Kevin Love, who was on a minutes restriction, played in his fifth game of the season that night, returning for his first action since March 14 when he tried to come back from a 32-game absence after suffering a severe calf strain but still wasn’t at 100%. Reserve guard Matthew Dellavedova also returned from an absence of more than a year off the court due to a concussion and an appendectomy but went scoreless in 16 minutes, though he did contribute five assists and two rebounds.

Miami is still working on getting newcomers Victor Oladipo and Nemanja Bjelica up to speed, but should have little trouble disposing of the Cavaliers tonight. Yes, this could be a trap game and the Heat are certainly susceptible to head-scratching performances from time to time but Cleveland’s last win in Miami came on Jan. 25, 2010 - an incredible stretch of 19 games that even precedes the Big 3 era. Could that streak really end tonight with the Heat desperate to win to help their playoff positioning?

The Heat emerged victorious in their last matchup against the Cavs 113-98 on March 16, with Jimmy Butler scoring 28 points to lead his team.

ODDS: FiveThirtyEight gives the Heat a 89% chance to win the game.

HEAT VS CAVALIERS: SATURDAY, APRIL 3 AT 8:00 PM

INJURIES

MIAMI:

  • KZ Okpala: out (health and safety protocols)
  • Gabe Vincent: probable (knee)

CLEVELAND:

  • Dylan Windler: out (knee)
  • Larry Nance Jr.: out (illness)
  • Jarrett Allen: out (concussion)

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)

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