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Still Blazin'

Let’s be optimistic and say that it’s a promising sign that Miami Heat players are getting banged up now, halfway through the season. In the loss to the Lakers the other night, Jason Williams and Dwyane Wade both came up lame, especially bothersome to fans because these two have evolved into one of the NBA's most formidable backcourts. But maybe it just means that the Heat will be predisastered at playoff time. Don't blame the Phoenix Suns for any lack of sympathy. Their best player, Amaré Stoudamire, is missing the season thanks to serious injury. Yet they still win, leading a division over other top contenders the Lakers and the Clippers.

FIU alum Raja Bell has been hitting his threes, MVP Steve Nash and dunkmaster Shawn Marion continue to shine, and the Suns have beefed up their bench with former Heaters Brian Grant, Eddie House, and Jim Jackson. In any case, it's a rare opportunity to see the best of the West at the Heat's house as the Suns come to town for this 8 p.m. battle at American Airlines Arena (601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami). Tickets range from $10 to $300. Call 305-577-HEAT, or visit
Thu., Jan. 26

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