The Miami Heat dropped the opener of an important three-game road trip while missing two key players. They hope to have either Hassan Whiteside or Dwyane Wade back in the lineup when they try to snap an eight-game road losing streak at the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday.

Playing without Whiteside (hip) and Wade (hamstring), Miami's two-game winning streak came to an end with a 115-99 loss at Portland on Monday, dropping it back into eighth place in the Eastern Conference - a half-game behind seventh-place Milwaukee. "It's going to be important [to win Wednesday] because we didn't start the road trip well, but this [next] game we must have," guard Goran Dragic told reporters after scoring a team-high 23 points in the loss. "You know, [the Kings] are going to play with basically nothing to lose. They're already out. We need to take care of business and try to approach this game like its a playoff game, make sure everybody is on the same page and win." Sacramento dropped both ends of a two-game road trip - including Monday's 106-101 setback at Oklahoma City - but it recently had a 3-2 homestand and is a respectable 11-14 against the East. The Kings also won at Miami 89-88 on Jan. 25 and have a chance to sweep the season series for the first time since 2001-02.


Video: Miami Heat vs Portland Trail Blazers Full Game Highlights March 12 2017 18 NBA Season



TV: 10 p.m. ET, FS Sun (Miami), NBCS California (Sacramento)

ABOUT THE HEAT (36-32): Dragic was a bright spot Monday, making 10-of-17 shots, and so was reserve forward Justise Winslow, who finished with 15 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and two blocks to continue his recent surge. "He was facilitating, getting us organized into offense and then when it was time to be aggressive, he dropped his shoulder and got to the rim a few times," coach Erik Spoelstra said of Winslow. "He probably could have drawn a couple of fouls - a lot of contact on those drives. But he's been doing that, he's been trending that way recently. The 13 rebounds were notable and defensively he was in the right spots in the second half." After averaging no more than 7.3 points in any month October through February, Winslow is posting 13 points per game while shooting 52.9 percent from the floor and 55 percent from 3-point range in seven games this month.

ABOUT THE KINGS (21-47): Rookie De'Aaron Fox has exhibited some solid point guard play in two games since returning from a back ailment, collecting 19 assists against only two turnovers while averaging 11.5 points against the quality backcourts of Denver and Oklahoma City. Fellow rookie Bogdan Bogdanovic snapped out of a three-game funk in which he shot 5-for-28 to make 6-of-11 shots versus the Thunder. Skal Labissiere (hip), who averaged 12.8 points in six contests prior to Friday's win over Orlando in which he injured his hip, missed both games on the road trip and is day-to-day.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Kings SG Buddy Hield scored 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting in the earlier win at Miami.

2. Heat C Bam Adebayo started in place of Whiteside at Portland and finished 1-for-10 from the floor with a season high-tying three turnovers.

3. Miami is 10-11 without Whiteside this season.

PREDICTION: Heat 104, Kings 102