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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, February 7th (All times eastern)

Miami Heat (9-38) at Philadelphia 76ers (19-30), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Philadelphia 76ers will resume a five-game homestand tonight, when they welcome the struggling Miami Heat to the Wachovia Center.

Philadelphia ended a two-game slide with a 101-96 victory over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday in the opener of the homestand. Andre Iguodala recorded 20 points for the Sixers, who used a big 17-0 run late in the fourth quarter for the victory.

Rookie Thaddeus Young tallied a career-high 17 points and pulled down nine rebounds in the win. Rodney Carney added 16 points, while Louis Williams and Andre Miller contributed 11 points apiece for Philadelphia, which improved to 10-14 as the host in 2007-08.

The 76ers will also welcome the Clippers, Mavericks and Grizzlies to the City of Brotherly Love.

Meanwhile, the Heat successfully traded away a vital piece of their 2006 championship puzzle on Wednesday, when center Shaquille O'Neal was officially dealt to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for forward Shawn Marion and guard Marcus Banks.

O'Neal, a 14-time All-Star, needed to undergo a physical before the trade could go through. The four-time NBA champion was in attendance for the Suns' 132-130 double-overtime loss to the New Orleans Hornets last night. He has two years left on his contract after this season and is set to be paid $20 million in each of the next two years. In just 32 games this season, the 35-year-old O'Neal is averaging a career-low 14.2 points along with 7.8 rebounds.

Miami is an NBA-worst 9-38 this season and will wrap up a brief two-game road trip this evening at Philadelphia. The Heat have lost 10 straight on the road and fell to 4-19 as the visitor after Wednesday's 100-95 setback to the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Miami's last win on the road was ironically against the Suns on December 10.

Dwyane Wade contributed 30 points and 12 assists for Miami, which has lost five in a row overall and 20 of its last 21 contests. Ricky Davis had 20 points, while Mark Blount and Dorell Wright each had 14 points in defeat.

Thursday's game between Miami and Philly is the second of three meetings this season. The Sixers, who beat the Heat by a 96-85 score at home on December 26, are slated to visit South Beach on February 23.

Philadelphia has won three straight and four of the last five meetings.

Miami has dropped three in a row and nine of its last 10 trips to the Wachovia Center.

02/07 10:29:08 ET


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