(SportsNetwork.com) - In a rematch of last season's NBA Finals, the San Antonio Spurs will host the Miami Heat Friday night at the AT&T Center.
The Spurs ended Miami's hopes of a three-peat with a 104-87 victory over the Heat in Game 5 of the NBA Finals last June.
It was an impressive performance by the Spurs in winning their fourth NBA title. They displayed the team concept that has made them one of the best franchises in the league the last two decades.
For Miami, it's a much different team than the one San Antonio demolished in five games. LeBron James bolted for Cleveland as a free agent in the offseason and Dwyane Wade won't be in the lineup Friday with a hamstring injury.
San Antonio appears headed toward another postseason run and have recorded eight wins in the last 10 games. The defending champion Spurs posted a 110-103 victory over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday and were led by Tim Duncan's 26 points and 10 rebounds.
Kawhi Leonard scored 18 points with five rebounds and five assists, and Tony Parker added 15 points for San Antonio, which is 4-1 on a six-game homestand and 19-7 in the Alamo City.
"We need the wins. We want to secure that playoff spot, but we really want to improve," Spurs reserve Manu Ginobili said. "At this point, we are not playing well enough to be there."
After hosting the Heat, San Antonio will hit the road for the next nine games.
The Heat will close out a four-game road trip Friday and are 1-2 on the trek.
Miami suffered a 102-101 loss at Minnesota on Wednesday, as Hassan Whiteside made his first 11 shots and finished with 24 points and 20 rebounds for Miami, which squandered a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter.
Luol Deng scored 18 points and Norris Cole added 15 as Miami lost for the fourth time in the last five tries.
"Our execution down the stretch in the fourth quarter was not good enough," said Miami coach Erik Spoelstra.
The Heat have a 13-13 road record and will host New York on Monday.
Miami will host San Antonio on March 31.