Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs Preview
The Miami Heat will be the latest team to try to stop the San Antonio Spurs league-leading winning streak. But the Heat will also have another reason to look for the win tonight as they try to stay in the Eastern Conference playoff race, extending Dwyane Wade’s final NBA season.
The Heat are currently eighth in the Eastern Conference with a 34-36 record, with just 1.5 games separating them and the ninth place Orlando Magic. They are also 1.5 games away from the Brooklyn Nets, who are seventh. The Heat have won their last two straight and seven of their last 10 games. San Antonio will be going for their 10th straight win and their 11th consecutive win at home tonight. They are currently tied for fifth place with the Oklahoma City Thunder with a 42-29 record, which is a far cry from being in eighth and ninth place just weeks ago.
Last time the Spurs and Heat met, the Heat won on November 7, 95-88. Hassan Whiteside led the Heat with 29 points and 20 rebounds, while Patty Mills paced the Spurs with 20 points. Tonight will be Wade’s last game in San Antonio, so they’ll have a little extra motivation.
Time: 8:30pm ET
Arena: AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX
Channel: FSSUN, FSSW-SA
Miami Heat Starting Lineup
The Miami Heat have bounced back from their 113-98 drubbing by the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday by blowing out the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday and getting a big win on Monday night, 116-107, over the Oklahoma City Thunder, effectively helping the Spurs move into their fifth-place tie.
In a game where only one starter scored in double digits, the Heat and coach Eric Spoelstra relied on the bench. Dwyane Wade, who has not played like a player in his final NBA season, had 25 points and five assists, and Spoelstra plans to keep utilizing his veteran guard.
“You know, what are we saving him for?” Spoelstra said. “We have 3 1/2 weeks left in the regular season. We’ve load-managed him all season long. Let’s just go for it. He wants to play. I want him to play. We need him.”
Also critical in their win over the Thunder was Goran Dragic, who had one of his best games since returning from injury. He finished with 26 points and 11 assists. Kelly Olynyk added 18 points and James Johnson had 14.
Hassan Whiteside’s minutes have been all over the place lately, and they certainly affect his production. He was only on the floor against OKC for five minutes. While Olynyk has played well, if the Heat make the postseason, they may want to start looking at a way to get Whiteside more involved along with Olynyk and Bam Adebayo.
San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup
Most casual NBA observers figured the locomotive that was the San Antonio Spurs on their eight-game winning streak would officially be knocked off the tracks when they faced the Golden State Warriors on Monday night. Instead, the Spurs’ defense played well, their offense made the plays they needed to and they extended their overall winning streak and home winning streak with a 111-105 win.
“We are just figuring it out,” Aldridge said. “Guys are playing better and we are trying to be better defensively. Our communication has been better. It’s just winning time and everybody senses that which is why everyone is trying to play better and figure it out.”
Aldridge had another strong effort with 23 points and 13 rebounds for the Spurs, while DeMar DeRozan nearly had his second triple-double of the season with 26 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists.
Rudy Gay also came off the bench for 17 points, and their second unit kept the defensive pressure on and were able to hit important shots to keep the pressure on the Warriors all game.
Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs Betting Odds
The Spurs are 6.5-point favorites to win tonight’s game at home. San Antonio is 29-7 at home this season and they are 28-11 as the favorite. Miami is 17-16 on the road and 16-18 as the underdog.
The over/under is 210 points and the Spurs are -250 on the moneyline.
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