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News » Miami Heat Getting Inside 2009-12-13

Miami Heat Getting Inside 2009-12-13

Miami Heat Getting Inside 2009-12-13The Heat was without center Jermaine O'Neal for a second consecutive game Friday night, in the wake of his uncle's funeral in South Carolina. He is expected to return to action Sunday when the Heat hosts the Memphis Grizzlies.

O'Neal, who also missed Sunday's victory in Sacramento to be with family, was scheduled to return to South Florida late Friday night, after the Heat faced the Mavericks at AmericanAirlines Arena.

"It was a very emotional week and emotional last 48 hours," coach Erik Spoelstra said. "He will practice (Saturday) and he's looking forward to being back around the guys."

It is the third game O'Neal has missed this season, having missed a Nov. 14 victory over the Nets due to a left hip contusion. Joel Anthony again started in his place.

Spoelstra said it was not a case of travel preventing O'Neal from returning in time for Friday's tipoff, but rather, "the timing of spending as much time with his family as possible. Like I said, it was a very emotional week for him and for his family."

The Heat was not as shorthanded as it might have been, with small forward Quentin Richardson in the starting lineup after sitting out practice twice this week due to a strained right hamstring sustained at the end of Sunday's third quarter in Sacramento.

MAVERICKS 106, HEAT 93: The Heat missed its first 10 shots and fell behind by 17 early, as its home record slipped to 6-6. While Dwyane Wade led the Heat with 28 points, it came on 8-of-24 shooting. Dallas, by contrast, got an efficient 25 points from Dirk Nowitzki on 10-of-18 shooting.

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Added: December 13, 2009


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