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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, March 6th (All times eastern)

Miami Heat (32-28) at Toronto Raptors (23-39), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The struggling Toronto Raptors still have a chance at a playoff spot and will try to put the brakes on a three-game losing streak this evening against the Miami Heat in the opener of a two-game homestand.

The Raptors will also welcome Utah to Air Canada Centre, where they sport a 12-16 record this season. They have lost three in a row and 11 of the last 15 games, including a 107-97 setback at Houston on Tuesday.

Chris Bosh and Andrea Bargnani both netted 25 points and pulled down seven rebounds to pace the Raptors, who lost all three tests on a three-game road trip. Shawn Marion finished with 18 points and nine boards, while Jose Calderon had 10 points and tied a career high with 16 assists in defeat.

Toronto currently sits five games off the final postseason berth in the Eastern Conference.

Miami, the fifth seed in the conference, will open a short two-game road trip this evening against the Raptors and Cavaliers, and is only 11-17 away from South Beach this season.

The Heat are not playing consistent basketball lately, as they have alternated wins and losses over the previous 12 games. In a 135-129 victory versus the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday in the finale of a three-game homestand, Dwyane Wade scored 35 points and tied a career-high with 16 assists to spoil Shaquille O'Neal's return to Miami for the first time since last season's trade.

Rookie Michael Beasley and Daequan Cook both notched career-highs with 28 and 27 points, respectively, as the Heat swept the season series from the Suns and recorded their second-highest point total in franchise history.

The Raptors took the first two meetings with the Heat this season and have won six straight and seven of the last eight matchups in the series. Miami has lost four straight and five of its last six trips to Air Canada Centre.

03/06 10:33:46 ET


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