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Game Preview: Butler returns as Heat take on Clippers

Miami has a mostly healthy roster tonight as they get set to visit L.A.

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Miami Heat Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

GAME STORY

The Miami Heat (19-18) visit the Los Angeles Clippers (21-17) on Monday night with Jimmy Butler set to return to the starting lineup.

Butler was out during the Heat’s thrilling win against the Utah Jazz on New Year’s Eve, highlighted by Tyler Herro’s game-winning basket, to rest his knee but now he is listed as probable.

Caleb Martin, Duncan Robinson and Gabe Vincent are all listed as questionable ahead of tonight’s game, which will tip-off at 10:30pm EST (hopefully those of you in South Florida and the East Coast had enough rest after celebrating the new year).

Kawhi Leonard is a late addition to the Clippers’ injury list as questionable due to a non-COVID illness. Reserve Nicolas Batum is also questionable with a left ankle sprain.

While Miami is coming off their rousing victory, the Clippers lost to the Indiana Pacers 131-130 in the last game of an uneven 2-3 road trip despite Paul George’s 45 points — a season-high for any Clippers player — and Kawhi Leonard contributing 24 points, seven assists and five rebounds. Prior to that they had lost to the Boston Celtics 116-110, in which the NBA’s top team avenged their worst loss of the season — a 113-93 road loss in Los Angeles. Such is the inconsistency of the Clippers that they are capable of beating good teams and yet they have failed to string together a winning streak longer than three games all season long.

The Clippers’ home record is 11-7 while the Heat are 8-10 on the road this season. Miami emerged victorious in their first meeting of the season 115-110 on Dec. 9, with Bam Adebayo leading the Heat with 31 points.

INACTIVE/INJURIES

MIAMI:

  • Dewayne Dedmon, out (health and safety protocols)
  • Omer Yurtseven, out (left ankle surgery)
  • Nikola Jovic, out (lower back spasms)
  • Caleb Martin, questionable (Left Quadriceps; Strain)
  • Duncan Robinson, questionable (Left Hamstring; Strain)
  • Gabe Vincent, questionable (Left Knee; Effusion)
  • Jimmy Butler, probable (Right Knee; Injury Management)

L.A. Clippers:

  • Kawhi Leonard, questionable (non-COVID illness)
  • Brandon Boston Jr., out (G-League)
  • Moussa Diabate, out (G-League)
  • Jason Preston, out (G-League)
  • Nicolas Batum, questionable (Left Ankle Sprain)

LINEUPS

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

BROADCAST INFO

Tipoff: 10:30 PM EST

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!