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NBA Live Thread: Brooklyn Nets at Miami Heat, 8:00 PM EST

NBA: New York Knicks at Miami Heat Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; every game is essentially a must-win game from here on out. Good new for the Brooklyn Nets, they’re better positioned today than they were earlier this week.

Better news for the Nets, they get a shot at the Miami Heat on Saturday night in a scenario in which the Heat played last night and they are in a bit of disarray. Still, it won’t be easy beating the first place Heat on the road.

WHO: Brooklyn Nets (38-35) at Miami Heat (47-27)

WHEN: 8:00 p.m. EST

WHERE: NBA TV (national), YES (local), WFAN-FM/AM (radio)

Game Preview.

Player to watch: Kyle Lowry

When it’s playoff time, you need a capable floor general that can make things happen. Lowry is that guy for the Heat, even though there’s some room for improvement within the flow of the team’s attack. He’s turned the ball over 20 percent of the time he’s had, the most in his career. Possessions become even more valuable the higher the stakes become, and as Miami battles it out in the playoffs, they will need Lowry to keep things running as smoothly as possible. Lowry turned 36 Friday.

Speaking of birthdays. Way to celebrate your birthday in style. Kyrie Irving rang in his 30th birthday on Wednesday night with 43 points and eight assists on a .556/.545/1.000 shooting split in 43 minutes. Irving was the only Net making it shake from deep, and his ability to get to the rim and finish will be critical tonight. When Irving last saw the Heat, he put on a fourth quarter show for the ages as he scored 20 points and almost brought the Nets all the way back from a huge deficit. With the Nets having some more weapons alongside him this time, the task of stopping him will become a lot more difficult for Miami.

For more on the Heat, check out Hot Hot Hoops.