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Thursday, January 2nd (All times Eastern)

Golden State Warriors (20-13) at Miami Heat (24-7), 7:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Miami Heat return to South Beach, although briefly, to face a stiff challenge from the red-hot Golden State Warriors on Thursday night.

The Heat, who went 3-1 on a west-coast trip with victories in their last two, welcome a Warriors team that has won six straight and is on game three of a seven-game road odyssey.

"It's going to be a team effort, defensively," said LeBron James. "The volume of shots they take, you can't stop them. We understand that. We can't get down on ourselves defensively."

James celebrated his 29th birthday on Monday night with 26 points and 10 assists to lead the Heat to a 97-94 win over the Denver Nuggets from Pepsi Center.

Chris Bosh scored 17 points on the heels of his Eastern Conference Player of the Week honor, while Ray Allen added 13 points off the bench in the win, Miami's eighth victory in its last nine tilts.

Dwyane Wade netted 12 points, but left early in the third quarter with back spasms and did not return.

"They are a very, very good team, especially at home," said James. "It was good that we were able to get this win."

The Warriors' streak reached six games with a 94-81 victory over the Orlando Magic on Tuesday. They've won three in a row as the visitor, but have a long way to go before they see the Bay Area again. The Warriors will visit Atlanta, Washington, Milwaukee and Brooklyn on this trip.

David Lee scored a game-high 22 points and had nine rebounds to lead Golden State to the win. Klay Thompson scored 15 and Kent Bazemore added 12 points for the Warriors. Marreese Speights contributed 10 points and six rebounds.

Steph Curry had a slow night with just nine points on 4-for-10 shooting. He chipped in eight assists and five rebounds, while Andrew Bogut pulled down a game-high 11 boards.

This recent run has sent the Warriors to within a game of the Los Angeles Clippers in the Pacific Division.

But nothing presents the kind of problem the Heat do.

"They're the best in the world," Jackson told the team's website. "It's going to be a tough challenge. This is a team that creates a lot of problems. But, we're looking forward to it."

The two squads split last season's two matchups with the visitor prevailing each time. Golden State's win in South Beach on Dec. 12, 2013 snapped a three- game losing streak in Miami.

01/02 10:18:41 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUR 8
GWI 6
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUR
GWI
 
Final
PHI 1
ATL 0
Final
BAL 5
BOS 7
Final
NYY 6
NYM 1
Final
DET 1
CLE 13
Final
CIN 3
CHC 7
Final
TAM 12
TOR 3
Final
MIA 3
WAS 2
9th
CWS 2
KAN 2
 
Final
MIL 0
STL 3
Final
COL 6
SFG 4
Final
ARI 1
PIT 4
Final
OAK 4
HOU 5
Final
ANA 3
TEX 2
Final
SDP 0
LOS 3
Final
SEA 2
MIN 0
1:08pm Today
DET
CLE
1:10pm Today
CIN
CHC
2:10pm Today
CWS
KAN
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
HOU
4:05pm Today
NYY
NYM
4:10pm Today
MIA
WAS
6:10pm Tonight
TAM
TOR
7:05pm Tonight
PHI
ATL
7:05pm Tonight
BAL
BOS
7:10pm Tonight
MIL
STL
8:10pm Tonight
ARI
PIT
8:10pm Tonight
COL
SFG
8:40pm Tonight
SDP
LOS
9:05pm Tonight
ANA
TEX
9:10pm Tonight
SEA
MIN
Final
DAL 128
HOU 130
Final
WAS 106
TOR 99
Final
SAN 100
LAC 73
3:00pm Today
BRK
ATL
5:30pm Tonight
MIL
CHI
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
GSW
10:30pm Tonight
POR
MEM
Final
MON 1
OTT 5
Final
NYR 2
PIT 1
Final
STL 1
MIN 4
3:00pm Today
NYI
WAS
6:00pm Tonight
TAM
DET
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
NAS
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
VAN
Final
DUR 8
GWI 6
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUR
GWI