Tonight's game: Wizards-Heat preview

Tonight's game: Wizards-Heat preview
April 10, 2013, 9:30 am
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Wizards vs. Heat

At Verizon Center

TV: CSN, 7 p.m. ET

Season series: Heat lead 2-1.

Last meeting: The Heat won 99-71 on Jan. 7 at American Airlines Arena. SF LeBron James led with 24 points and his team had a 40-29 edge in rebounding. They closed the victory with a 21-0 run as Washington failed to make a field goal in the last seven minutes, but in this game Miami's Big Three of James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh won't be playing. The Wizards are going for their 10th consecutive win at home. 

Previous game: The Wizards lost to the New York Knicks 120-99 on Tuesday to fall to 29-49. The Heat beat the Milwaukee Bucks 94-83 on Tuesday to improve to 61-16.

Projected starting lineups: Wizards -– PG John Wall, SG Garrett Temple, SF Martell Webster, PF Nene, C Emeka Okafor. Heat –- PG Mario Chalmers, SG Mike Miller, SF Rashard Lewis, SF Shane Battier, C Joel Anthony.

Pivotal matchup: Wall vs. Chalmers. Without the Big 3 collapsing on him, Wall should have an easier time getting into the paint and finishing or creating for teammates. Chalmers has three-point range and has show the ability to score when needed. Both are coming off back-to-backs. 

Trending upward: Thought most of SF Cartier Martin's points came with the game out of reach, he was one of the few bright spots by shooting 6-for-12. ... In getting 33 points, Wall got to the foul line 14 times. 

Trending downward: Without Ariza, the perimeter defense allowed the Knicks to make 20 of 36 three-pointers for 55.6%. ... PF Chris Singleton failed to make a field goal in 22 minutes. .. Okafor is 7-for-24 in his last three games. ... PF Trevor Booker (bruised tailbone) only scored two points in seven minutes. ... Nene has failed to reach double figures scoring in three consecutive games. 

He said it: “We've done so many great things this year by just playing the game at a high level, playing for one another. Along the way, when those accolades come as far as team wins, the streak that we had, we really enjoy it." -- James  

Around the bend: Friday vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 7; Monday at Brooklyn Nets, 7:30. All games on CSN.