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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, November 29th (All times eastern)

Washington Wizards (5-10) at Miami Heat (9-8), 7:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Washington Wizards are still searching for their first road win of the season and face a daunting task tonight against LeBron James and the star-studded Miami Heat at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Washington is 0-7 away from the nation's capital this season and hasn't dropped eight straight as the visitor to kick off a season since the 2006-07 campaign.

The Wizards have lost two in a row overall and are coming off Saturday's 100-99 defeat at home to the Orlando Magic. Dwight Howard led the victors with a season-high 32 points and hit a jumper with four seconds remaining to send the Wizards to a 5-10 mark. Gilbert Arenas led the Wizards with a season-high 31 points and Andray Blatche added a double-double with 10 points and 13 boards.

Nick Young had a season-best 21 points for Washington, which won the rebounding war by a 47-38 count.

"Every big game or TV game, we always seem to get embarrassed," said Young, who scored 14 of Washington's first 15 points in the fourth quarter. "Tonight we didn't want to do that in front of our fans."

Wizards center Yi Jianlian (knee) missed his seventh straight game, while forward Al Thornton (ankle) his second. Jianlian is out indefinitely and Thornton is listed as questionable against Miami. Wizards No. 1 overall pick John Wall did not play because of a bruised right knee and has missed five of the past seven games. He is averaging 18.0 points and 9.1 assists, and is questionable against the Heat.

The Wizards will visit Toronto after their trip to South Beach.

Miami hasn't been living up to expectations and suffered its fourth loss in five tries with Saturday's 106-95 setback in Dallas. The Mavericks have won 13 straight against the Heat, who got 23 points and eight rebounds from James.

Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh each recorded 22 points for Miami. Dallas' bench outscored Miami's reserves 39-22 and had a 48-26 advantage in the paint.

"We had a rough start to the third quarter," said Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra, whose team was outscored, 31-17, in the that period. "We competed there at the end...but we had other opportunities to keep that game close enough to really have a legitimate chance to win there at the end."

The Heat, who will also host Detroit on the brief residency, are 7-3 at home this season and held a lengthy players-only meeting after this latest loss. It has been reported that some players are questioning whether Spoelstra is capable of leading this team. James has scored 20 or more points in 14 straight games for a Miami squad that is 0-7 when trailing at halftime.

Erick Dampier made his Miami debut against his former Dallas teammates and registered one rebound and one foul in eight minutes. Dampier was recently signed by the Heat, who waived Jerry Stackhouse to make room for the big man. The move was made after Udonis Haslem recently tore a ligament in his left foot. Haslem will miss a significant amount of time.

Miami won three of four matchups with the division-rival Wizards a year ago and is 22-6 in the previous 28 meetings between the teams.

Washington has lost 11 of 14 and 13 of its last 17 games at the Heat.

11/29 10:42:21 ET


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