Sixers-Miami Heat preview: Looking to nab tiebreaker

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The Sixers' Marco Belinelli and the Heat's Dwyane Wade eyeing a loose ball during the teams’ meeting Feb. 14.

76ers (35-28) at Miami Heat (34-31)

Thursday at 7:30 p.m., at AmericanAirlines Arena

Talking points

This matchup could have huge playoff-seeding implications. The Sixers have the sixth-best record in the Eastern Conference. The Heat are seventh. The top eight teams at the end of the regular season advance to the playoffs. A victory would give the Sixers a three-game lead over Miami with 18 games remaining. It also would give them the two-team tiebreaker should they finish with the same record. That’s because the Sixers have already won two of the previous three meetings.

How to watch and follow the game

  • TV and streaming: NBC Sports Philadelphia
  • Radio: 97.5 FM
  • Twitter: @PompeyOnSixers

Starting lineups

Sixers (35-28)

33 Robert Covington SF 6-9  12.6 ppg. 5.5 rpg

9 Dario Saric PF 6-10  14.8 ppg. 6.9 rpg.

21 Joel Embiid C 7-2 23.6 ppg. 11.1 rpg.

17 JJ Redick SG 6-4  16.7 ppg. 3.2 apg.

25 Ben Simmons PG 6-10 16.5 ppg. 7.6 apg.

Coach: Brett Brown (fifth season, 110-281)

Injury report: Markelle Fultz (shoulder rehabilitation and working on his shot, out); Furkan Korkmaz (Lisfranc injury, left foot rehabilitation, out).

Heat (34-31)

22 Luke Babbitt SF 6-9  5.8 ppg. 2.0 rpg

16 James Johnson PF 6-8  10.1 ppg. 4.6 rpg.

21 Hassan Whiteside C 7-0 14.0 ppg. 11.9 rpg.

0 Josh Richardson SG 6-6  13.3 ppg. 3.4 rpg.

7  Goran Dragic PG 6-10 17.4 ppg. 4.9 rpg.

Coach: Erik Spoelstra (10th season, 474-313)

Injury report:  Dion Waiters (sprained left ankle, out).

Head to head

The Heat hold a 59-57 series advantage.

Coming games

Sunday: 7:30 p.m., at Barclays Center, Sixers vs. Brooklyn Nets

Tuesday: 7 p.m., at Wells Fargo Center, Indiana Pacers vs. Sixers

March 15: 7:30 p.m., at Madison Square Garden,  Sixers vs. New York Knicks

March 16: 7 p.m., at Wells Fargo Center, Nets vs. Sixers

March 19: 7 p.m., at Wells Fargo Center, Charlotte Hornets vs. Sixers