(SportsNetwork.com) - The Miami Heat will be at home for the last time in a
long while Monday night when they welcome the Detroit Pistons to
After Monday's tilt, the two-time defending NBA champions will head west for a
six-game road trip. The All-Star Game will be played during their trip as
Miami plays the Clippers, Jazz, Suns, Warriors, Mavericks and seeks redemption
in a rematch against the Thunder, who trounced them in Miami on Wednesday.
But before they hop on a chartered jet, the champs have to contend with a
Detroit team that beat the Heat in Miami on Dec. 3. Sure, five days later
Miami trounced the Pistons in Motor City, but the Pistons hung one of only
four home losses on the Heat.
Last time out, in front of celebrities and athletes galore at Madison Square
Garden, the Heat pounded the New York Knicks, 106-91.
LeBron James filled it up for Miami, tallying 30 points and eight rebounds to
lead the Heat in a win on Super Bowl eve.
James also contributed seven assists and six steals to help Miami get back on
track after getting smacked by Oklahoma City, 112-95, on Wednesday. Dwyane
Wade added 22 points and Shane Battier scored 16 on 5-of-8 shooting to snap
Miami's brief two-game skid against the Knicks.
"We got stops, we forced turnovers and we defensive rebounded," said James.
"On the offensive end we just executed. When we do that, we're a very good
The Pistons have won two straight and will try to recreate that successful
formula which saw them win in South Beach. On that night in early December,
the Pistons shot over 51 percent from the floor, killed the Heat on the glass
and forced 19 turnovers.
On Saturday, in Detroit's most recent victory, it was balance and big men.
Andre Drummond scored 22 points to lead four Pistons with 20-plus points in
Detroit's 113-96 drubbing of the ailing Philadelphia 76ers at The Palace of
Drummond shot 10-of-11 from the field and grabbed 14 rebounds with five
blocked shots for the Pistons, who have won four in a row against Philly. Greg
Monroe donated 21 points, 12 rebounds and four steals while Brandon Jennings
and Kyle Singler netted 20 points apiece in the rout.
"When Greg is having a game like that, it makes it easy for me," said
Drummond. "They're focusing on him and when he does miss a shot, I'm usually
there to tip it back in."
Despite the Pistons success against the Heat this season, Miami has won 10 of
the last 12 meetings. The Heat have won seven of their last nine as the host
in this series.
The Sports Network