Nets Face Dion Waiters-less Heat in Brooklyn

The Miami Heat announced guard Dion Waiters will not play tonight vs. the Brooklyn Nets.

Dion Waiters has had a nagging left ankle sprain that he suffered on Tuesday in Miami’s win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Heat announced that Waiters did not participate in shoot around in advance of the Nets’ game, and will not be ready to play on Friday night.

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This is Waiters’ second straight missed game. Former Net Wayne Ellington will get the nod at the starting two guard position.  Ellington registered 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting Wednesday against Milwaukee.

The Nets aren’t losing sleep over Waiters’ absence. Two weeks ago, the red hot Waiters hit a big 3-pointer at Barclays Center to propel the Heat to a 109-106 win over the Nets.

The Heat are in the midst of the longest winning streak in league history by a team with a record at least 19 games below .500 at its start. Waiters is averaging 20.6 points, 4.8 assists and 4.1 rebounds in 11 games during the 12-game winning streak.

The Nets are on an 11-game losing streak after a 114-110 loss to the Washington Wizards on Wednesday. Bojan Bogdanovic led the Nets with 21 points but missed seven 3-pointers, including a potential tiebreaking 3-pointer in the final seconds of regulation.

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NBA sportsbook TopBet  favors Miami in tonight’s game. In the two previous games against the Heat this season, Nets center Brook Lopez has averaged 23.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists. In the Heat’s previous visit to Brooklyn this season, Lopez made a career-high and Nets season-high seven 3-pointers (on 14 attempts) as part of his 33-point performance (including a career-half-high 26 in the first half) in 33 minutes, which marked his highest-scoring performance in 23 career-regular season games against the Heat.

Lopez has scored 25 or more points in four of his last six games against the Heat, after doing so twice in his first 17 career games against the Heat. The 33 points marked the most points scored by a Net against the Heat in a regular-season game since Vince Carter scored 33 on Nov. 10, 2006.

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