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NBA Phoenix Suns at Miami Heat

December 13, 2006

NBA Phoenix Suns (-11) 205 at Miami Heat  7:00pm EST

Phoenix concludes its five game road trip in South Florida, seeking to make it an even dozen straight wins for the first time fourteen years. This task is potentially made much easier not having to face Miami's two best players. The Heat have been without center Shaquille O'Neal who continues to be dressed in suits on the bench due to knee surgery and now Sports Illustrated's Man of the Year Dwayne Wade had two wisdom teeth removed and is unavailable for tonight's early ESPN tilt.

Take nothing away from what Phoenix has accomplished with a 13-1 record after 1-5 start. The Suns are back in their rightful position of the league's top scoring team, knocking down 111.8 points per game. On this road trip, Phoenix has averaged 124.2 points a game to take over the top spot. Besides playing incredibly well, another reason coach Mike D'Antoni is grinning ear to ear is the continued progress of Amare Stoudemire. This past Monday, Stoudemire and his team-mates were playing 4th game in five nights and the former All-Star scored a season high 30 points, showing his knee is recovering each and every week.

Miami has had a large void to fill with Shaq out of the line-up, now with Wade out, what this newest void lacks in stature it makes up for in lack of production. Wade has led the Heat is scoring 17 consecutive games.  There are no easy answers for Pat Riley to turn to for points, especially against the scorching Suns. In three of the last four games, Miami was left gasping when Phoenix won and covered by an average of 14 point a contest.

With all the uncertainty surrounding this game, the official side and total from will be released later today. Phoenix will undoubtedly be a road favorite as they go for their ninth straight cover wearing the road uniforms. It will be interesting to see what Miami comes up with considering they have covered 8 of 9 themselves.

Oddsmakers will have a thought provoking decision to make on the total of this contest. Taking away Wade's points and pondering the Suns are 9-2 Over in road games and the Heat are 7-2 Over as underdogs, places them in a dilemma. 

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