James Leads Heat Past Pistons, 102-96
MIAMI (AP) — LeBron James came within two rebounds of his first triple-double this season, and the Miami Heat won for the fifth time in six games Monday by beating the Detroit Pistons 102-96.
James had 24 points and 11 assists, Dwyane Wade scored 30 points and Chris Bosh added 17.
Wade had one of his best performances in an injury-hampered season, shooting 13 for 19 and adding 10 rebounds and five assists in 37 minutes. His point total was his highest since Dec. 18.
James was blanked in the rebound department down the stretch. When Wade snatched a rebound away from him with 4 minutes left, a grinning James chided him as they ran upcourt. Wade waved his arms in sheepish apology.
Teammate Ray Allen outfought James for a rebound a minute later, which left James muttering to the Heat bench.
James also tweaked his left shoulder and right hand, and was called for committing a foul with his face when he became entangled with Greg Monroe.
Allen’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer put the Heat up 84-80 after three periods, and they pulled away from there. Wade’s 3-pointer put them ahead by 13 points for the first time, 98-85.
Brandon Jennings had 26 points and seven assists for the Pistons, who trailed almost the entire game and took it badly. They were called for four technical fouls.
Monroe had 17 points and 11 rebounds. Detroit lost despite forcing 20 turnovers and holding an edge of 51-44 in rebounds.
The Heat, who began the week three games behind Eastern Conference leader Indiana, started strong and scored 13 points before they missed a shot.
From 41-all, James and Wade teamed up for back-to-back fast-break baskets. The second came when Wade fed Mario Chalmers, whose alley-oop over the hoop perfectly led an airborne James for a one-handed throw-down dunk.
Will Bynum’s four-point play put the Pistons up 48-47, but that was their last lead. Miami went on a 14-2 run near the end of the half and led 63-57 at halftime.
Notes: Miami’s Michael Beasley tipped a rebound into the Pistons’ basket in the second quarter. … Pistons F-C Josh Harrellson sat out with a sore knee. … The Heat play six road games before their next home game Feb. 23. … The Heat improved to 20-5 when leading after one quarter. … The Pistons are 1-21 when trailing after three periods.
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