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Magic vs. Heat GameThread

The Magic will take on their in-state rivals after a big win against the Pistons, while the Heat are still stinging from their loss to the lowly Nets. Who will come out on top at the Amway Center?

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA can be a cruel league for a hurting team, and there aren't many places to hide.

Still, the Orlando Magic (12-24) got a shot in the arm on Thursday, beating the Detroit Pistons 102-89 to snap a nine-game losing streak.

Orlando will look to keep that momentum going in their matchup with the streaky Miami Heat (18-17), who are fresh off a 111-87 loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night.

Other than that result, the Heat have played well lately, going 7-4 in their last 11 games. Miami is one of the most balanced teams in the league, with an amazing seven players scoring in double figures on a per-game basis.

This will be the third consecutive game back for Miami's star center, Hassan Whiteside, who missed the previous 11 games with a knee injury. Whiteside has been known to cause problems against the Magic, as is evident by his big 26 points and 22 rebounds on opening night, but a minute restriction from coach Erik Spoelstra should keep him relatively limited.

The bigs will play a huge role in this one, as starting center Nikola Vucevic remains out for Orlando, leaving Bismack Biyombo and Marreese Speights to tackle the platoon of bigs that will see the floor for Miami.

This one looks to be a battle of creative rotations and the winner could very well be the team that controls the paint.

Line: MIA -1.5 (OddsShark)


Orlando: Evan Fournier (Foot) – IN; Aaron Gordon (Calf) – IN; Jonathan Isaac (Ankle) – OUT; Terrence Ross (Knee) – OUT; Nikola Vucevic (Hand) – OUT

Miami: Rodney McGruder (Tibia) – OUT; Okaro White (Foot) – OUT; James Johnson (Ankle) – OUT; Justise Winslow (Knee) – OUT; Dion Waiters (Ankle) – OUT;