Denver Nuggets at Miami Heat: How to Watch, Preview and More

Denver Nuggets at Miami Heat, 4 p.m., Sunday, ALT2, NBATV, 950 AM
Spotlight on Hassan Whiteside: The former second-round draft pick is blossoming into a dominant two-way center in Miami. Whiteside is averaging a career-high 16.8 points per game and leads the NBA in rebounding at 14.1 per game. He had 25 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks during a win in Denver on Nov. 30, and the 7-footer, who signed a four-year contract for roughly $98 million last summer, is averaging 18.9 points in his last 10 games, helping the Heat surge into the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference after a rocky start to the season.
Nuggets: Denver has lost five of its last six games in Miami. … The current three-game losing streak for the Nuggets is their longest since dropping five straight from Dec. 30 to Jan. 7. … The status of veteran point guard Jameer Nelson is uncertain after he suffered a right calf strain during the third quarter of Denver’s 122-114 loss to the Hornets on Friday. Will Barton (foot) and Darrell Arthur (knee) also are questionable. … Denver’s loss to Charlotte marked the seventh time in 40 games this season the Nuggets failed to win when entering the fourth quarter with a lead. … Nuggets coach Michael Malone said he is not focusing his attention on reaching the playoffs. “Right now I want to find guys who can compete and go out and play hard,” Malone said. “Missing shots is one thing, but if you’re not competing that’s not acceptable.”
Heat: After a home loss to the Knicks on Friday, Miami entered Saturday in the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference, with the Pacers, also 37-39, slotted eighth. The Bulls loomed just a half-game behind those two teams, with three teams within 2½ games of the final two spots. … The Heat will be without Dion Waiters (ankle), Justise Winslow (shoulder) and Josh McRoberts (foot). … The Heat forced 19 Nuggets turnovers in its victory in Denver on Nov. 30, and Miami has won three straight games in the series overall. … Goran Dragic has led the Heat in scoring in each of its last three games, averaging 23.3 points during that stretch.