Atlanta (27-21) at Miami (26-21)
When: Sunday, January 31st 2016
Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL
Time: 6:05 ET | TV: FSN Southeast, FSN Sun
The Atlanta Hawks visit the Miami Heat in a Central Division clash Sunday night in Miami. Atlanta, the defending Central Division champs, have had a rough January and look to end the month on a high-note and keep their slim lead over Miami. The Hawks have lost four of the last five and are now only a half a game ahead of Miami for first place. Part of the issue might be fatigue as the Hawks will be playing their sixth road game in their last seven. The Hawks erased an 11-point deficit on Thursday to take the lead with less than six minutes remaining against Indiana, but then hit a wall in losing 111-92. For just the seventh time all season, the Hawks failed to shoot 40%, finishing at 39.8% for the game. To make matters worse, All-Star Paul Millsap (18.0 points, 8.8 rebounds) left the game with a sprained ankle, but is expected to play Sunday in Miami. Point guard Jeff Teague scored a team-high 20 points Thursday and is averaging 16 points on 19-of-33 shooting and 5.7 assists in his past three games. The Hawks have won the past three games played in Miami. Atlanta will turn right around after this game to play the Mavericks at home on Monday night.
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The Heat finished a successful five-game road trip by winning the last three leading up to tonight’s contest. Dwayne Wade has been carrying the Heat of late averaging 25.3 points while shooting 51.3% over the last four games. He has scored 10 or more points in the fourth quarter in each of the last three games after scoring 10 in Miami’s 107-103 win at Milwaukee on Friday night. Point guard Goran Dragic scored 12 points in 31 minutes Friday in his return after missing nine games with a calf injury, and forward Josh McRoberts (knee) played for the first time in 26 games scoring two points in 16 minutes of action. Chris Bosh is averaging 20.6 points in January, including 22 per game in his past six while earning his 11th consecutive All-Star berth. Hassan Whiteside (12.3 points, 11.2 rebounds) missed his fourth-straight game on Friday with back issues and is questionable for tonight. Miami is second in the NBA in points allowed (95.7), but have surrendered over their average in four of the past five games.
The Heat are the hotter team right now and they’re playing at home. Take Miami.
Pick: Heat PK