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PREVIEW: Reeling after three bad losses, Heat host Nets

Miami’s lead for the top seed in the East has fallen to just a half-game.

Miami Heat v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Michelle Farsi/Getty Images

After looking poised to take the top seed in the Eastern Conference, the Miami Heat have suffered three consecutive bad losses — first to a Philadelphia 76ers team resting Joel Embiid and James Harden, then to a Golden State Warriors team missing their top players and last night to the New York Knicks.

The loss to the Knicks was especially ugly, as the Heat blew a 17-point fourth-quarter lead and continue to struggle in crunch time, no matter the opponent. And New York was without several players, including Julius Randle.

Tonight, Miami faces the Brooklyn Nets for the fourth and final time this season. The Heat won the previous three match-ups, including a March 3 win in Brooklyn. With their lead for the top seed down to just a half-game, the question becomes whether the Heat continue to careen before the playoffs or if they can gut out a much-needed win.

The Nets currently hold the eighth seed, meaning this game could be a preview of a first-round series. Saturday night also marks the first time Goran Dragic plays in Miami since the Heat included him in the Kyle Lowry sign-and-trade.

ODDS:

  • Nets - 3
  • O/U: 229.5
  • Money line: Nets -155, Heat +135

INACTIVE/INJURIES

Miami:

  • Jimmy Butler (ankle) - questionable
  • Tyler Herro (knee) - questionable
  • Caleb Martin (knee) - questionable
  • Duncan Robinson (Achilles) - questionable
  • P.J. Tucker (knee) - questionable
  • Gabe Vincent (toe) - out
  • Javonte Smart (two-way, G League) - out
  • Mychal Mulder (two-way, G League) - out

Brooklyn:

  • Seth Curry (ankle) - probable
  • Goran Dragic (knee) - probable
  • Joe Harris (ankle) - out
  • Ben Simmons (back) - out
  • LaMarcus Aldridge (hip) - out

STARTING LINEUPS:

Miami:

PG: Kyle Lowry

SG: Duncan Robinson

SF: Jimmy Butler

PF: P.J. Tucker

C: Bam Adebayo

Brooklyn Nets:

PG: Kyrie Irving

SG: Bruce Brown

SF: Kessler Edwards

PF: Kevin Durant

C: Andre Drummond

BROADCAST INFO:

TV: Bally Sports Sun, NBA TV

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)

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