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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, January 19th (All times eastern)

Los Angeles Lakers (10-5) at Miami Heat (9-4), 8 p.m.

(Sports Network) - Sporting just one road win this season, the Los Angeles Lakers will be away from home quite often the next few weeks and will get the journey started tonight against the Miami Heat at AmericanAirlines Arena.

The Lakers will play two straight, four of six and 10 of their next 13 games as the visitor, and are only 1-4 on foreign courts this season.

Los Angeles has won nine in a row at home and six of seven overall, including Monday's 73-70 victory over the Dallas Mavericks thanks to Derek Fisher's three-pointer with 3.1 seconds remaining in the game. Fisher buried a shot over the outstretched arm of Dirk Nowitzki and finished with 13 points. Kobe Bryant had scored 40 or more points in four straight games, but was 7-of-22 from the floor for a season-low 14 points. He assisted on Fisher's three.

"Kobe demands a lot of attention and he trusted me to make the right play," said Fisher, who scored nine points in the fourth quarter. "I'm confident in my ability to make the right play. I have a responsibility to my team."

Bryant is one of 20 finalists for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team and leads all Western Conference players in All-Star voting. Andrew Bynum led the Lakers with 17 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. Los Angeles was able to bounce back from a loss to the rival Clippers a few days prior and held on for a won over Dallas despite shooting 38.2 percent and scoring only seven points in the third quarter.

The Lakers will close out their Florida trip in Orlando on Friday before returning to Hollywood for consecutive games versus the Pacers and Clippers.

Miami hoped to have both LeBron James and Dwyane Wade healthy enough for this early-season matchup with the Lakers. James missed the Heat's shootaround on Thursday morning with flu-like symptoms and was listed as a game-time decision. Meanwhile, Wade will miss his fifth of the past eight games due to injury with foot and ankle problems.

Wade also did not play in Tuesday's 120-98 victory over San Antonio when James logged 33 points and 10 assists, while Chris Bosh had 30 points, eight rebounds and five assists for the Heat, who battled back from as many as 17 points down to halt a three-game losing streak and set a season-high for points in a half with 71 points in the second half.

"LeBron and Chris were brilliant offensively and shouldered a big load," Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said. "In the second half, after we defended and those two guys generated a lot of offense, we were able to execute and trust and the other guys were able to get involved."

Mike Miller, who had missed the first 12 games with a sports hernia, scored 18 points in a winning effort and helped Miami kick off a five-game homestand on a positive note. The Heat are 4-1 at home this season and will also welcome the 76ers, Bucks and Cavs to south Florida. They are averaging a league-best 107.2 points per game and holding the opposition to 99.2 ppg.

Miami won both meetings with the Lakers last season and is unbeaten in the past three meetings between the teams. LA has dropped three straight and six of its last seven contests at the Heat. The Lakers hold an all-time record of 29-17 against Miami.

01/19 11:43:11 ET


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