A game that many circled as top entertainment before the season began, may not live up to the hype with numerous injuries to both sides.
The Miami Heat will host the Los Angeles Clippers Friday night at American Airlines Area with several stars sidelined.
Miami, winners of a eight of their last 10 games, has come down with the case of the flu, with guards Ray Allen and Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen, along with forward Chris Bosh are reportedly showing symptoms.
The Clippers could also miss MVP candidate point guard Chris Paul again, and All-Star forward Blake Griffin may sit with a hamstring strain, though he did participate in light workouts during practice on Thursday.
Los Angeles may also miss the services of guard Jamal Crawford, who is second on the team in scoring, and veteran Chauncey Billups.
Paul has missed 12 of the Clippers last 14 games due to soreness in his knee, and has been listed as day-to-day for the last couple of weeks. L.A. has gone 7-7 in that stretch, but still hold a four game lead in the Pacific.
The Clippers managed to avoid a four-game losing streak Wednesday night, thanks to point guard Eric Bledsoe’s 27 points and six steals in an 86-76 win over the Orlando Magic.
The Heat are currently riding a three-game win streak, after dropping the Houston Rockets 114-108 Wednesday night, and improved their home record to 20-3 on the season.
Wade took over for long stretches against Houston, pouring in 31 points to go along with his eight assists and four steals. Forward LeBron James scored a team-high 32 points with six rebounds, five assists, and two blocks.
Coverage of the game begins at 8 p.m. and will be broadcast by ESPN. You can watch a live online stream of the game by going to Watch ESPN here.
Betting Odds: Miami is favored by 5.5 points
Over/Under: 195 points
Prediction: Bledsoe is on fire, and Miami may have a limited response on the perimeter to stop him. However James should carry the Heat to another victory with a near triple-double.
Predicted Score: Los Angeles , Miami