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Jason Collins & The Nets Set To Visit Miami

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15. Brooklyn Nets (26-28)
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Miami Heat

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Brooklyn Nets made sports history earlier this year when they signed the first openly gay athlete, Jason Collins, to a ten-day contract. Now, after a second 10-day contract, Collins will be rewarded with a contract keeping him in Brooklyn for the rest of the season.

Collins is expected to receive the contract before his second 10-day contract expires, according to ESPN.com. The Nets, according to ESPN, have planned to keep Collins for the rest of the season since he signed his original contract.

Collins and the Nets are playing in Miami Thursday night. It’s the team’s first visit to the Magic City since he signed on to play for Brooklyn. Collins isn’t making a big impact for the Nets, but he’s filling a specific role for the team that it desperately needed.

Brooklyn has given the Heat fits all season long. The Nets are one of just two teams who have beaten the Heat twice this season. However, before Brooklyn gets too excited, the Nets haven’t won in Miami in the last six years.

Miami’s victory over Washington helped end a three-game losing streak and overall is 16-2 in home games since December 10. The Heat’s only two losses at home came to Golden State and Oklahoma City.

The Heat’s key players should all be available Monday. It’s possible the only one missing for the Nets will be Brook Lopez (foot), but he’s out for the season and hasn’t been part of their resurgence. Kevin Garnett (back) has been out six straight games and Andrei Kirilenko (ankle) missed the last one, but both could return Wednesday.

It certainly appears Paul Pierce will play through his shoulder injury after doing so Monday, when he scored 10 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter of a 101-97 win over Toronto. That left the Nets within three games of the Raptors for the Atlantic Division lead.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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