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Heat Look For Back-To-Back Wins Vs. Lakers

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LOS ANGELES (SportsDirect Inc.) — The Miami Heat have been dealing with all types of injury issues but are feeling a bit better after ending a six-game losing streak.

Miami will look to record consecutive wins for the first time since Dec. 12-14 when it visits the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday.

The Heat halted their skid by notching a 107-102 road win over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday in the second contest of a six-game road trip. Standout center Hassan Whiteside (eye) will miss his fourth consecutive game but could possibly return for Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Lakers are experiencing their own struggles and Thursday’s 118-109 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers was their 16th defeat in the past 19 games. Point guard D’Angelo Russell scored 22 points against Portland but was just 6-of-18 shooting and missed all eight of his 3-point attempts.

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, FSN Sun (Miami), Spectrum SportsNet (Los Angeles)

ABOUT THE HEAT (11-26): Second-year forward Justise Winslow underwent season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder Thursday. It was a frustrating campaign for Winslow, who earlier missed time with a wrist injury and played in just 18 games while averaging 10.9 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists. “To say I’m disappointed is an understatement,” Winslow said on his Twitter feed. “It hurts that I can’t be there for my teammates, the coaching staff and our fans. After a lot of thought, this surgery is what is best for my career.”

ABOUT THE LAKERS (13-26): Rookie forward Brandon Ingram was in the starting lineup against Portland with Luol Deng (biceps) sitting out and the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 draft scored 11 points in 37 minutes. The 19-year-old Ingram, who made his 11th start of the campaign, had scored in single digits in 13 of his previous 14 games as he tries to adjust to the pro game after one season at Duke. Power forward Julius Randle contributed 17 points and nine rebounds against Portland but was just 4-of-13 from the field in his follow-up to a superb game against Memphis on Tuesday when he had 19 points, 14 rebounds and a career-high 11 assists.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. The Heat registered a 115-107 home victory over the Lakers on Dec. 22 for their eighth win in the past nine meetings.

2. Los Angeles SG Lou Williams, who averaged 21 points in December, is averaging just 10.5 over his last four contests.

3. Miami SG Wayne Ellington made four 3-pointers in three of the past five games and is averaging 13.8 points during the stretch.

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