Even if they don't have to face LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, the New Jersey Nets still might not be able to snap their losing streak against the Miami Heat.
James and Wade could again be out of the lineup when the visiting Heat try for an eighth consecutive victory over the Nets on Saturday night.
With James sidelined by a sore ankle and Wade sitting for the second straight game with a foot injury, Miami (7-1) rode the strong play of Chris Bosh and Mario Chalmers to a 116-109 triple-overtime victory at Atlanta on Thursday.
Bosh, who hit a tying 3-pointer at the end of regulation, finished with 33 points and 14 rebounds while Chalmers added 29, eight assists and seven boards as the Heat avenged their only defeat of the season.
Udonis Haslem had 14 points with 11 boards and seldom-used rookie Terrel Harris added 14 rebounds.
"I hope the guys realize it doesn't matter who's in the uniform, it's the standard of play," forward Shane Battier said.
The Heat might need to live up to those high standards one more night without James and Wade.
James, the NBA's leading scorer at 29.9 points per contest who is also averaging 7.7 rebounds and 7.4 assists, took part in Thursday's pregame warmups but his status is uncertain with an injury he suffered during a 118-83 rout of Indiana on Wednesday.
"He's walking around and hopefully he'll be able to play soon,'' coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Whether that will be Saturday, I don't know.''
Wade (18.8 ppg) is being rested as more of a precaution because of the condensed schedule. Miami has two days off after this contest.
"He's making progress with it, but we really want to take care of this before it's something that can linger,'' Spoelstra said.
Bosh has averaged 23.8 points in the last six contests after totaling 22 in the first two games of the season. Chalmers (12.0 ppg) had scored in double figures three times in the first seven games before making 10 of 21 shots at Atlanta.
"Coach said I had to be aggressive,'' Chalmers said.
He'll get the opportunity to build on that performance as the Heat look to continue their dominance over the Nets (2-6), who snapped a six-game skid with a 97-85 win at Toronto on Friday.
Miami has held New Jersey to 85.7 points on 38.3 percent shooting during its seven-game series winning streak that dates to a Nets' 96-88 home win March 20, 2009.
New Jersey's Deron Williams, who averaged 20.0 points on 51.1 percent shooting despite going 1 for 11 from 3-point range in three games versus Miami in 2010-11, scored 24 points at Toronto after missing Wednesday's loss to Boston with sore ribs.
Anthony Morrow also scored 24 and went 6 of 10 from beyond the arc as the Nets made 15 of their 31 3-point attempts for their first victory since a 90-84 season-opening win at Washington on Dec. 26.
"We wanted to smile,'' coach Avery Johnson said. "For five or so games we've been having a frown on our face and we wanted to smile after a game.''
New Jersey has lost four in a row and eight of nine at home to Miami.