Preview: Heat continue homestand, look to hand Spurs their first loss

TV: FOX Sports Sun

Time: Pregame coverage begins at 7:30 p.m.


MIAMI -- It is just the second week of the NBA season, but things are already getting hostile.

The Miami Heat (2-1) and San Antonio Spurs (3-0), who got into physical altercations against other teams on Monday, will face each other on Wednesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena.

And there is already a contentious history between the Spurs and Heat, who split NBA titles in two classic Finals matchups. Miami beat San Antonio in seven games in 2013, while San Antonio defeated Miami in five games in 2014.

More recently -- as in Monday night -- Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge got into a shoving match with Toronto Raptors counterpart Serge Ibaka, and both players were assessed with technical fouls.

"Things get heated at times," Aldridge said after the game. "It just kind of woke me up a little bit, and it got our team awakened."

Miami had its own awakening on Monday night as Heat point guard Goran Dragic got into it with Taurean Prince of the Atlanta Hawks. Miami shooting guard Dion Waiters joined the fray as well, and Dragic had some biting comments aimed at Prince after the game.

"Maybe because his name is Prince, he thinks he's royalty," Dragic told the Miami Herald. "I don't know."

Fighting words with other teams aside, the Wednesday game between old rivals should be interesting.

Aldridge, who had 20 points in San Antonio's 101-97 win over the Raptors, has been San Antonio's leading scorer in every game this season.

The Spurs are relying on Aldridge even more than usual since their two best players, small forward Kawhi Leonard and point guard Tony Parker, have yet to play this season due to quadriceps injuries.

In addition, Spurs power forward Joffrey Lauvergne has been ruled out for the Wednesday game after spraining his right ankle in the fourth quarter against Toronto.

If the Spurs had Leonard and Parker healthy during their 2017 playoff series against the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio may have made things interesting. After all, Leonard has finished in the top three in MVP voting the past two years, and Parker is a six-time All-Star.

Filling the Leonard-Parker leadership void has been Aldridge, who is averaging 24.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.7 blocks this season.

Second-year pro Dejounte Murray, a 6-foot-5 point guard, had 16 points and 15 rebounds against Toronto. He became just the second Spurs guard to surpass 15 in points and rebounds in the same game and is averaging 13.3 points, a team-high 9.7 rebounds and a team-high 4.7 assists this season.

Over on the Miami side, center Hassan Whiteside (left knee bruise) has been ruled out for the third straight game.

In addition, Miami's starting backcourt sat out Tuesday's practice: Dragic has a bruised thigh, and Waiters has soreness in his left ankle.

The Waiters injury is the bigger concern for Miami considering he sat out the final 13 games last season due to problems with that same ankle.

Dragic, though, said he would play on Wednesday.

"The swelling is going down," he said. "I will be ready."