Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Heat continue to chase history while the Detroit Pistons look like history as the two teams get together Friday night at the AmericanAirlines Arena.
Detroit, 23-46 on the season, have lost all nine games the team has played in March by an average margin of 17.6 points. The Pistons has allowed 107.9 points per game on 51.2 percent shooting. The team also lost center Andre Drummond this week.
Now, Detroit has the task of coming to Miami to face a Heat team on the second-longest winning streak in NBA history (24 games), despite some heart-stopping recent games where the team was bailed out by NBA most valuable player LeBron James.
“If we’re going down (to Miami), we better have the belief that we can win,” Pistons coach Lawrence Frank told the Pistons’ official website.
Believing that you can win and actually beating the Heat are two totally different monsters. Miami is coming of a 27-point second-half rally to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 98-95 on Wednesday. LeBron scored 14 of 25 points in the fourth quarter and also had 12 boards and 10 assists.
The massive rally was the Heat’s second this week. Miami needed a 17-point rally on Monday when they beat the Boston Celtics, 105-103. While some have said the Heat is playing at the level of the opponents, what’s actually happening is the Heat are having to take everyone’s best shot.
Every team that plays Miami wants to be known as the team that beat the streak. Each opponent is treating a game against the Heat as its Game 7 and playing with reckless abandon.
“It’s been two games in a row where we got off to the type of start that we didn’t want to,” Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said. “That’s because we’ve been playing on our heels and catching teams (who are playing) more aggressive.”
While the Heat haven’t lost since the second game of February, and only lost one game at home during the current calendar year; Detroit did pull of a victory over the Heat on December 28. The Heat exacted revenge on January 25 beating the Pistons 110-88.
Crushing the Pistons is a common occurrence for the Heat at home as three of the team’s four straight victories over Detroit have come by at least 22 points. The Heat have averaged 108.7 points and shot 51.4 percent while winning 15 straight overall at home by an average margin of 11.8.
The Heat and Pistons tip off Friday night at 7:30 p.m. But, if you’re going to the game, leave very early because with Ultra Music Festival and other events going on in downtown, traffic and parking are likely to be a nightmare.
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