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NBA Preview from The Sports Network

Friday, December 15th (All times eastern)

Miami Heat (9-12) at Washington Wizards (10-11), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Washington Wizards resume a three-game homestand tonight when they welcome the Miami Heat to the Verizon Center.

The Wizards are 1-1 on the homestand and just defeated the Denver Nuggets, 120-91, on Wednesday night. Gilbert Arenas scored 23 of his 34 points in the first half to lead the Wizards to victory.

Caron Butler added 26 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for the Wizards, who won for the fourth time in five outings. Antawn Jamison tallied 19 points and Brendan Haywood had 12 points and 13 rebounds in the victory.

Washington is 8-3 at home this season and 3 1/2 games behind Orlando for the top spot in the Southeast Division.

Miami, meanwhile, has alternated wins and losses over its last eight games and will most likely be without star guard Dwyane Wade on Friday after having his wisdom teeth removed on Tuesday.

Wade missed Miami's 99-89 loss to the red-hot Phoenix Suns on Wednesday. Alonzo Mourning led the Heat with 19 points and Udonis Haslem contributed 14 points and seven rebounds. Jason Kapono scored 13 points off the bench for Miami, which has lost two of its last three games.

The Heat, who are still without All-Star center Shaquille O'Neal, are 5-5 on the road and 4-7 as the host this season. O'Neal is still recovering from knee surgery.

Friday's contests between Miami and Washington is the first of the 2006-07 season. The Heat went 4-0 in last year's season series and have won 12 straight, 13 of 15 and 26 of the last 31 matchups.

Miami has won six straight after losing its last two at Washington. It is 13-3 in the last 16 trips to Washington.

12/15 10:41:39 ET

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