NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, December 8th (All times Eastern)
Miami Heat (15-5) at Detroit Pistons (10-10), 6 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Miami Heat will try to avenge a loss from earlier this week when they visit The Palace of Auburn Hills Sunday to take on the Detroit Pistons.
The Pistons bested the Heat, 107-97 in South Beach on Tuesday, thanks to a well-balanced performance from Detroit. Seven Pistons scored in double figures that night and Andre Drummond grabbed 18 rebounds en route to a 46-34 disparity on the boards.
"It's going to be a tough challenge for us versus a team that just beat us on our home floor," said LeBron James. "Another great rebounding team that plays in the paint. We accept the challenge and look forward to it."
The Heat snapped a two-game slide on Saturday night in Minnesota, while the Pistons extended their winning streak to four games with a victory in Chicago.
"Look what they've been doing. It's not just against us," James said. "Drummond's a huge kid. Monroe creates space and has great hands. It's going to have to be a collective group to clean glass tomorrow."
The Pistons swept a three-game road trip, starting with the win in Miami, followed by victories in Milwaukee and in Chicago on Saturday night.
Against the Bucks, Drummond pulled down 19 rebounds and Monroe grabbed 17, then Josh Smith joined them in double-figures on Saturday. The trio combined for only 23 points against the Bulls, but hauled in 36 rebounds.
"I like the way we are playing. I think we have been getting better every game," said Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks. "Our defense has been getting better. Clearly our offense is a little better. I like our flow, I like our defensive flow, I like our offensive flow, I think we are getting better in all phases."
Brandon Jennings handled the scoring against Chicago with 33 points on 5-for-8 shooting from the 3-point line. Kyle Singler added 12 points and the seldom- used Josh Harrellson chipped in 10 on 2-for-2 shooting from long range.
The Pistons shot 42.5 percent from the floor Saturday, but shot 63.2 percent from beyond the arc.
The Heat handled the Timberwolves, 103-82, on Saturday and only lost the battle on the glass by one. It helped their cause that Kevin Love, the NBA's leading rebounder, wasn't with the team after the death of his grandmother.
James paced the Heat with 21 points and 14 rebounds. Dwyane Wade returned from a two-game absence due to rest and the flu with 19 points. Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis both scored double figures off the bench.
Despite the loss earlier in the week, the Heat have taken nine of the last 11 between the two teams. The Pistons are 1-7 in their last eight at home against Miami.
12/08 10:25:27 ET