Tonight’s matchup: Heat looking to pass struggling Cavaliers, who lose Kevin Love for possibly 6-to-8 weeks

Cleveland’s LeBron James argues after being ejected in the second half by referee Kane Fitzgerald in a game against the Miami Heat at Quicken Loans Arena on November 28. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

MIAMI HEAT AT CLEVELAND CAVALIERS

When: Thursday, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland

TV/Radio: Fox Sports Sun/WAXY 790AM, WAQI 710AM (Spanish)

Records: Miami 29-21, Cleveland 29-20

Line: Cleveland favored by 2 points.

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS

Heat

F: Josh Richardson

F: James Johnson

C: Hassan Whiteside

G: Tyler Johnson

G: Goran Dragic

Cavaliers

F: Jae Crowder

F: LeBron James

C: Tristan Thompson

G: Isaiah Thomas

G: J.R. Smith

Scouting report: Cavaliers forward Kevin Love broke his hand in a 125-114 loss at Detroit on Tuesday. Love is expected to miss 6 to 8 weeks. … Cleveland has dropped 11-of-16 games and is third in the East, one/half game ahead of the Heat. … Cleveland is last in the league with a defensive rating of 109.8 and has allowed 114.3 points in it last 16 games. … LeBron James is averaging 26.7 points (his most since leaving Miami for Cleveland in 2014), 7.9 rebounds and a career-high 8.8 assists. … This will be the Heat’s first look at Isaiah Thomas in a Cavaliers uniform. Thomas was acquired from Boston in the trade that send Kyrie Irving to the Celtics and was recovering from hip surgery early in the season. He has had trouble fitting in since he returned, averaging 15.6 points while shooting 38.6 percent in 28 games. … Dwyane Wade has settled into a bench role with Cleveland, averaging 11.2 points. … This is the second of three meetings between the teams this season. The Cavs defeated Miami, 108-97, in Cleveland on Nov. 28. Love had 38 for the Cavs and James was ejected in the second half. Bam Adebayo scored 19 points off the bench for the Heat. … Miami has won 5-of-7 in the series. … … Miami is without Dion Waiters (left ankle), Rodney McGruder (left tibia surgery) and Okaro White (left foot surgery). … At 16-11, the Heat have the second-best road record in the East behind the Celtics (18-7). … The final game in the series is March 27, Cleveland’s lone trip to Miami.

[Heat’s Goran Dragic still has chance to make All-Star Game after Kevin Love injury]

[After talk with Spoelstra, Whiteside shined vs. Mavericks. Now the challenge is for Whiteside to do it again and again]

[Mailbag: Will luxury tax become issue for Heat when trying to re-sign Wayne Ellington?]

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