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NBA Preview from The Sports Network

Thursday, December 7th (All times eastern)

Miami Heat (7-10) at Sacramento Kings (8-9), 10:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The defending world champion Miami Heat play the third of a four-game road trip this evening, as they visit the slumping Sacramento Kings at ARCO Arena.

This is the first of two meetings between the clubs this season. Miami is scheduled to host the Kings on March 16, 2007 at AmericanAirlines Arena.

The Heat have won five in a row in this series. Miami has won two straight after losing its last four at Sacramento.

Miami is 1-1 on the road trip. On Tuesday, Elton Brand finished with 33 points as the Los Angeles Clippers knocked off the Heat, 101-97, at the Staples Center.

Dwyane Wade led Miami with 33 points in the loss to the Clippers, while Alonzo Mourning recorded a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Udonis Haslem also collected a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds in the loss for the Heat, who have dropped five of their last eight games overall.

The Heat are 4-4 on the road this season. They are scheduled to visit Carmelo Anthony and the Denver Nuggets on Friday at the Pepsi Center.

Sacramento, which plays the first of a short two-game homestand, enters tonight's contest on a four-game losing streak. Leandro Barbosa led six Phoenix players in double figures with 26 points and reigning MVP Steve Nash dished out a season-high 20 assists, as the Suns crushed the Kings, 127-102, on Tuesday at US Airways Center.

Mike Bibby had 21 points in the loss to the Suns for Sacramento, which has lost seven of its last 10 overall. The Kings played without Ron Artest for the third straight game. Artest has a sore lower back that has bothered him all season.

Artest is questionable for tonight's contest. He is averaging 17.4 points, 7.6 boards and 3.1 assists this season.

The Kings are 6-3 at ARCO Arena this season. They are scheduled to host Joe Johnson and the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday.

12/07 10:36:34 ET

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