MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – After playing some of its best basketball of the season, the Miami Heat has hit a bit of a rough patch in recent games.
Dwyane Wade and the Heat are hoping to resume their playoff push in South Beach after a disappointing road trip.
Looking to cool off the Detroit Pistons, the Heat try to extend their season-best home winning streak to five Sunday.
Miami (33-39) is surely looking forward to getting back on its own court after averaging just 85.5 points during a 1-3 trek. The Heat had another rough night Friday, falling 99-86 at Atlanta as the Hawks clinched the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed.
Luol Deng had 17 points and 10 rebounds, but he was the only player to score more than 13 as Miami shot 39.0 percent. The Heat are clinging to seventh place in the conference, one game ahead of Boston and 1 1/2 ahead of ninth-place Brooklyn.
“It’s the end of the year. We’re playing teams we’ve played multiple times,” Wade said. “They’re scouting us pretty well, they’re taking certain things away. We need to figure out a way to add a few different things, let them see something a little different.”
Wade finished with 13 points in 22 minutes after sitting out two nights earlier with a swollen left knee. His status for this game doesn’t appear to be in doubt.
“It was OK,” he said of the injury. “It wasn’t great but I just wanted to get out there and try to give my teammates something. Hopefully, I’ll be better Sunday.
“I had a lot of fluid. In a perfect world I would love to get some fluid out.”
Wade is averaging 28.7 points over a seven-game stretch at home, and Miami has won seven of its last eight there while scoring 105.6 per game.
“It’s not just going to happen (on its own), we have to play better, play more as a unit,” Wade said of regrouping at home. “We can bounce right back. This team has shown that we have the ability to do that.
“Sunday is a big game for us, we have to protect home court like we’ve been doing of late if we want to make the playoffs.”
The Heat could have their hands full against a Pistons team that’s won five of six, including four in a row while averaging 107.8 points. Reggie Jackson posted his second triple-double in five games with 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in Friday’s 111-97 victory at Orlando.
Jackson is averaging 21.2 points and 11.8 assists over the last six contests.
“All of my teammates have done a great job encouraging me,” said Jackson, acquired from Oklahoma City before the trade deadline. “We just want to keep riding the wave we’ve been on and see where we end up.”
This Pistons (28-44) had dropped three straight to the Heat before taking this season’s first meeting 108-91 on Feb. 3. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 18 points and Andre Drummond posted 14 and 14 rebounds as Detroit outscored Miami 22-4 in transition with Wade on the sidelines.
Wade his missed eight of the last 15 matchups in the series, but he’s averaged 23.7 points on 58.0 percent shooting in helping Miami win the seven he’s played.
The Heat could be without center Hassan Whiteside for a third consecutive game due to a hand injury. Pistons big man Greg Monroe remains out with a knee issue.
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