NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, March 31st (All times eastern)
Miami Heat (40-34) at Detroit Pistons (23-50), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Dwyane Wade and the playoff-hopeful Miami Heat will hit the road for three games starting with tonight's bout against the Detroit Pistons from The Palace of Auburn Hills.
Miami is currently the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference and is nearing its second straight postseason appearance and sixth in seven years. The Heat posted their fifth consecutive victory with Sunday's 97-94 verdict over the Toronto Raptors in south Florida, as Wade ended with 32 points, seven rebounds, six assists and five steals to keep the winning ways intact. The last time Miami won six in a row was during a nine-game spurt in the 2006-07 campaign.
Udonis Haslem had 23 points and made critical baskets down the stretch for the Heat, who will also visit Indiana and Minnesota and are 18-18 away from home this season. Joel Anthony had a career-high 13 points in a winning cause.
"The best part about this win [Sunday] was the fact that things were not going our way and in the first half we were not mentally strong," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said after his squad's third straight road win. "We were letting one possession affect the next and frustration was setting in. We were able to grind it out all the way to the end."
Heat veteran center Jermaine O'Neal is expected to miss tonight's game because of a right knee ailment.
Losers of eight in a row, the Pistons are playing out the string and will resume a three-game homestand Wednesday. The losing ways continued with Sunday's 110-103 setback versus the Chicago Bulls, with Richard Hamilton notching 29 points and five assists for Detroit in another losing effort.
Rodney Stuckey had 20 points off the bench while Tayshaun Prince and Jonas Jerebko added 13 and 12 points, respectively, for Detroit, which will also host Phoenix and is 16-21 at The Palace this season. The Pistons are winless in their last three games as the host.
"We were just late on some of our defensive things," said Stuckey, who is probable for Wednesday with a balky ankle. "That's how it's been the whole year. We've got nine more games yet. We've got to finish this out and continue playing hard."
Prince is averaging 14.9 points per game this month and Hamilton has been playing well at home lately, posting 19.7 points in his last six contests in front of the home crowd. Hamilton is listed as questionable versus Miami due to an ankle injury, though.
Miami topped the Pistons, 92-65, back on January 29 of this season and has won four straight over Detroit after losing the previous six matchups. The Heat, however, have lost in 11 of their last 14 trips to Detroit.
03/31 10:32:19 ET