MIAMI (AP) – Dwyane Wade scored 40 points one day after having fluid removed from his balky left knee, Udonis Haslem set season highs with 18 points and 13 rebounds, and the undermanned Miami Heat beat the Detroit Pistons 109-102 on Sunday night.
James Ennis matched his season best with 16 points, Mario Chalmers scored 11 and Goran Dragic had 10 for the Heat, who won their fifth straight at home and strengthened their hold on the No. 7 spot in the Eastern Conference standings.
Andre Drummond had 32 points and 14 rebounds for the Pistons, who had won four in a row. Reggie Jackson had 31 points and nine assists.
Miami was up by as many as 17 in the third, but back-to-back 3-pointers from Jodie Meeks late in the quarter helped spark a Detroit run that got the Pistons within 71-65 going into the fourth.
But the Heat held on, with Wade scoring 19 points – going 11 for 11 from the line – in the fourth quarter.
Miami used seven players in the second half, after forwards Luol Deng (left knee) and Michael Beasley (right elbow) got hurt in the opening two quarters. Centers Hassan Whiteside (hand) and Chris Andersen (calf) were ruled out before the game, as was Shabazz Napier (hip). And Wade had his knee drained after being bothered by a bruise for several days.
Detroit made eight of its first nine shots and grabbed a quick eight-point lead, then proceeded to shoot 9 for 31 – 29 percent – over the remainder of the first half.
Wade had 17 first-half points, two coming after his shot was blocked by Drummond but ricocheted for a score anyway to help Miami grab a 49-44 lead at the break. Haslem had 10 points and 10 rebounds by halftime, just the fourth time in his career and the first time since April 3, 2010, that he pulled off that feat.
Pistons: Injured guard Brandon Jennings (Achilles) got a few shots up before the game, albeit in dress clothes and with a boot on his left foot. … It was a homecoming for plenty of Detroit players and coaches, including coach Stan Van Gundy (former Heat assistant and head coach), former Heat players Caron Butler, Joel Anthony and Shawne Williams, and assistant coaches Tim Hardaway – whose No. 10 is retired in Miami – and Malik Allen.
Heat: Now 18-18 at home this season, Miami is at .500 on its home floor for the first time since Nov. 23. Miami has won eight of its last nine at home. … Sundays are fundays for the Heat, who improved to 10-4 in games played on that day this season. … The Heat were so outmanned in the second half that they had Henry Walker guarding Drummond, despite giving up a mere five inches and 59 pounds to the Pistons’ big man.
Sunday was the 12th anniversary of Wade’s final win in college – the 29-point, 11-rebound, 11-assist effort that led Marquette over Kentucky and sent his team to the Final Four. The Heat were off in Milwaukee that day, then-coach Pat Riley was watching the Marquette game while he worked out on a treadmill, and was duly impressed. The rest is history.
SPO AND STAN
Van Gundy and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra are close friends, so perhaps they can commiserate on this point – they’re both looking at finishing with sub-.500 records for the first time. Detroit is already assured of Van Gundy’s first losing record, and the Heat need to go 7-2 down the stretch to get Spoelstra to the break-even mark.
Pistons: Host Atlanta on Tuesday.
Heat: Host San Antonio on Tuesday.
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