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GAME PREVIEW: Heat back in action against No. 1 Suns

The shorthanded Heat will attempt to pull out a tough road win against the NBA’s best.

NBA: Miami Heat at Portland Trail Blazers Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports


The Miami Heat (24-15) are back in action after two days off to visit the Phoenix Suns (30-8) at 9:00pm EST.

The team with the best record in the NBA and the first to 30 wins after defeating the Los Angeles Clippers are also 17-4 at the Footprint Center. Chris Paul is coming off a triple-double performance with 14 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in Thursday’s victory — their third in a row — though Devin Booker struggled from the field and scored just 11 points, but he did contribute 10 rebounds and four assists. Even taking that performance into account, he is still averaging 24.1 points while shooting 41.3% over the last 10 games.

Both teams have won seven of their last 10 games and have several players out due to injury or health and safety protocols. This is the first meeting between the two teams this season, with the second game scheduled for March 9 at the FTX Arena.

For the Heat to have any realistic chance of winning this game, even with the extra day off, they’ll need Jimmy Butler (ankle) in action and he is currently listed as questionable. KZ Okpala (wrist) was previously listed as day-to-day but he has been since been ruled out for tonight.

ODDS: FiveThirtyEight gives the Heat a 17% chance to win the game. (So you’re saying there’s a chance....)




  • Victor Oladipo: out (knee; surgery rehab)
  • KZ Okpala: out (wrist)
  • Dewayne Dedmon: out (knee)
  • Markieff Morris: out (neck)
  • Udonis Haslem: out (health and safety protocols)
  • Bam Adebayo: out (thumb)
  • Gabe Vincent: out (health and safety protocols)
  • Marcus Garrett: out (health and safety protocols)
  • Jimmy Butler: questionable (ankle)
  • Aric Holman: out (ineligible)
  • Mario Chalmers: out (ineligible)


  • Landry Shamet: out (health and safety protocols)
  • Abdel Nader: out (health and safety protocols)
  • Dario Saric: out (knee)
  • Frank Kaminsky: out (knee)
  • JaVale McGee: out (reconditioning)
  • Deandre Ayton: out (reconditioning)
  • Jae Crowder: out (reconditioning)


Projected Starters

Clippers Position Heat
Clippers Position Heat
Reggie Jackson PG Kyle Lowry
Paul George SG Tyler Herro
Kawhi Leonard SF Jimmy Butler
Marcus Morris Sr. PF Caleb Martin
Ivica Zubac C Bam Adebayo


TV: Bally Sports Sun, NBA League Pass
RADIO: The Ticket 790AM & The HEAT Radio Network (Jason Jackson, 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!