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Houston Rockets vs. Miami Heat game preview

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The Rockets look to avoid their first 3-game losing streak of the season when they head into the Lion's Den in Miami.

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Note: this is going up early because of the early start time of this game. Monday's preview will return to our normal schedule and be released Monday morning.

The Rockets are looking more and more like they're going to finish with the fourth best record in the West. Of course, a slip could easily drop them to fifth and lower. Likewise, a surge could move them up.

After tonight's game in Miami, the Rockets' next five games are against teams at .500 or below. That's followed by a tough four game stretch, then the schedule eases up for the last seven games, with only a home game against the Spurs versus an elite team.

But today is about the champs. Miami is 1-5 in their last 6 games. They're on a 2-game losing streak of their own after losing to the Nets and Nuggets at home by a combined 5 points.

The Rockets have to bounce back from a terrible effort against the Bulls. Every player besides Jeremy Lin looked like they were sleepwalking and never got going. An effort like that again will lead to another blowout, especially against a pissed-off Heat team that needs to get back on track.

Playing teams after a loss is tough, because you know they're going to come out fighting. But in the playoffs, you're going to play a team coming off a loss multiple times (hopefully). The Rockets have to stop turning the ball over, they need to get the ball into Dwight Howard, and they have to move on offense and defense.

Tip-off is at 2:30pm CST on ABC.