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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, February 25th (All times eastern)

Cleveland Cavaliers (32-23) at Miami Heat (26-28), 3:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - What was once a can't miss game on the NBA schedule has lost some of its luster as LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers travel to Miami to take on the Dwyane Wade-less Miami Heat at AmericanAirlines Arena.

The Heat have won three of their last five meetings with the Cavaliers and eight in a row at home.

Miami and Cleveland will battle for the third time this season with each team posting a victory thus far. The Cavaliers recorded a 103-79 win on February 9 to avenge a 92-89 setback eight days earlier.

James had 29 points, seven rebounds and six assists in that win, while Wade poured in 27 points with seven helpers in defeat.

But now Wade is sidelined indefinitely after dislocating his left shoulder in Wednesday's loss to Houston after getting tangled with Shane Battier of the Rockets early in the fourth quarter.

A course of action has not been determined as Wade is weighing his options, but it's reported he could be out for the rest of the season if he has surgery on the shoulder.

Miami is 16-24 in games played without Wade since his rookie season, including 1-6 this year.

The Heat lost their second game in a row on Thursday when the red-hot Dallas Mavericks downed shorthanded Miami, 112-100. Shaquille O'Neal and James Posey both scored 17 points for the Heat, who lost for only the third time in 10 games. Jason Williams and Dorell Wright both scored 13 points.

Miami has won six games in a row at home and is 15-10 as the host this season. The club is currently 5 1/2 games behind Washington for the lead in the Southeast Division and will play in New York on Monday in the first of two straight road games.

The Heat also hold just a slim one-game lead for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East over New Jersey.

The Cavaliers were last in action on Thursday and were bested by the division rival Chicago Bulls, 84-78.

James scored 29 points and pulled down seven boards for the Cavs, who had won two in a row and five of six entering the game. Larry Hughes finished with 20 points and eight rebounds for Cleveland.

The Cavaliers also come into the game with a shrunken roster as guards Damon Jones (strep throat) and Sasha Pavlovic (flu-like symptoms) are both questionable for the game.

Also, center Zydrunas Ilgauskas has missed Cleveland's last four games due to personal reasons. However, he is expected to play today.

Cleveland is 12-15 as the visitor this season and is 3 1/2 games behind Detroit for the top spot in the Central Division.

02/25 10:40:58 ET

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