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(Sunday, December 8th)
Final Score: Miami 110, Detroit 95
Auburn Hills, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Some teams have trouble playing lesser competition with a rivalry game on deck.
The Miami Heat had no such problem Sunday night with a matchup against the Indiana Pacers looming, crushing the Detroit Pistons 110-95 from the Palace of Auburn Hills.
The Heat have a much anticipated rematch of the Eastern Conference Finals with the Pacers on Tuesday that pits the top two teams in the conference for the first time since Miami beat the Pacers in seven games last season.
"Obviously, everybody is going to make it as a marquee game on Tuesday but I don't really get too much involved in regular season matchups, especially early in December," Miami superstar LeBron James said of playing Indiana.
James led the way with a near triple-double, posting 24 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for the Heat, who avenged a 107-97 loss at home this past week to the Pistons.
Ray Allen scored 18 points in place of Dwayne Wade, who was resting his ailing knees in the second game of a back-to-back. Chris Bosh scored 16 points with nine rebounds, while Roger Mason, Jr. netted 12 on 4-of-6 shooting from deep.
Andre Drummond deposited a double-double with 19 points and 14 boards, while Brandon Jennings tallied 19 points with six assists and Jonas Jerebko scored 12 for Detroit, which snapped a four-game winning streak.
"They were really able to push the ball off our missed shots and get some easy baskets," Pistons head coach Maurice Cheeks said.
Greg Monroe, Kyle Singler, and Charlie Villanueva each added 10 points in the setback.
Miami jumped out to a 12-2 lead in the opening 3:20 of the first and led wire to wire. Bosh opened the scoring with a layup and Allen scored the final six points of the spurt, capping it with a transition 3-pointer.
The lead grew to 21-10 past the midway point of the quarter when Singler capped a 9-0 run with a triple that pulled the Pistons within two.
The Heat, however, outscored Detroit 8-2 in the final 2:18 to take a 29-21 lead after one.
Detroit countered Miami's run to end the quarter with an 8-2 run of its own to open the second. Villanueva scored the final five points to make it a two point deficit once again.
That's the closest the Pistons would come in the half as the Heat led 59-53 at the break.
Miami came out in the third similarly to the first, using a 10-2 run to take a 14-point advantage. Mario Chalmers and Allen hit back-to-back triples to cap the spurt with 9:04 left in the third.
The lead remained double-digits for the rest of the quarter and swelled to as many as 21 heading into the fourth.
Miami extended the advantage to as many as 23 and cruised the rest of the way.
Miami shot 40-of-72 (55.6 percent) from the field, including 11-for-28 (39.3 percent) from three ... The Pistons outrebounded Miami 44-34 and outscored the Heat 56-40 in the paint ... Detroit will host Minnesota on Tuesday.
12/09 00:18:37 ET