National Basketball Association
Miami at Atlanta
When: 7:30 PM ET, Friday, March 27, 2015
Where: Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
Miami hopes to have a pair of key figures back in the lineup as it continues its playoff push at Atlanta on Friday. Playing without Dwyane Wade (knee) and Hassan Whiteside (hand), the Heat managed to post a 93-86 win at Boston on Wednesday, strengthening their hold on seventh place in the Eastern Conference. Head coach Erik Spoelstra said Wade wanted to play against the Celtics and could be ready to go Friday, while Whiteside may need time for a gash that required 10 stitches to heal.
The Hawks snapped a season-high three-game slide with a 95-83 win at Orlando on Wednesday, reducing their magic number for clinching the top seed in the East to two. Paul Millsap had 25 points and 11 rebounds while five others scored in double figures as Atlanta posted its best defensive effort in over two months. The Hawks have won each of the first three meetings against the Heat this season and can pick up their first season series sweep since 1990-91.TV:
7:30 p.m. ET, Sun Sports (Miami), SportsSouth (Atlanta)ABOUT THE HEAT (33-38):
Goran Dragic scored 17 of his 22 points in the first half against Boston as Miami built a big lead and held on late. The Heat improved to 9-7 with Dragic in the lineup, and his performances on the offensive end have had a big hand in the final result; the veteran guard is averaging 19.9 points on 56.3 shooting in seven wins this month, compared to 16 points on 51 percent shooting in four losses. Wade missed the first game against Atlanta this season but is averaging 25 points on 54.1 percent from the field in the other two encounters.ABOUT THE HAWKS (54-17):
Sharpshooter Kyle Korver appears to be all the way back from a recent broken nose after scoring 13 points in 37 minutes against Orlando, while reserve Thabo Sefolosha returned from a 23-game absence due to a calf injury. Sefolosha will be eased back in as head coach Mike Budenholzer looks to give key players rest down the stretch, especially after the top seed is locked up. Jeff Teague added 16 points and nine assists against the Magic despite spraining his left ankle in the first quarter, and is a prime candidate to get some nights off before the postseason.BUZZER BEATERS
1. Miami SF Henry Walker has made 7-of-11 3-pointers over his last two games.
2. Starters Teague, C Al Horford and SF DeMarre Carroll each sat out Atlanta's 93-91 win at Miami on Feb. 28.
3. Heat F Chris Andersen is day-to-day with a calf injury that kept him out Wednesday in Boston. PREDICTION:
Hawks 103, Heat 96
Stats and Records