Heat begin 3-game homestand with visit from Pistons

Heat begin 3-game homestand with visit from Pistons

The Detroit Pistons will take on the Miami Heat in one of the National Basketball Association games on January 3, start time at 7:30 PM ET, at AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL.

Detroit is coming off an impressive home win over the powerful San Antonio Spurs, but the Pistons have been battling injury issues.

The Pistons (20-15) and Heat (19-17) are battling for potential playoff positioning in the Eastern Conference.

Miami hasn't been more than two games above or below.500 all season, and it hasn't won or lost more than three games in a row.

The Pistons were without center Andre Drummond, sidelined by a rib injury. Defensively, the Heat are yielding 102.1 points against the opposing teams. At one point in that game, the Heat trailed by 38 points.

"We've been waiting for consistency", Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

Indeed, the Heat went on the road and beat first-place teams such as the Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves earlier this season but then laid the proverbial egg against Brooklyn.

Miami is still without Justise Winslow (who missed his 10th straight game with a knee strain) and Dion Waiters (who missed his fifth straight game with a re-aggravation of his oft-sprained ankle).

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In addition, Rodney McGruder, who started at small forward most of last season, has yet to make his 2017-2018 debut due to a stress fracture in his left leg. Goran Dragic, who finished the game with his first double-double of the season with 24 points and 13 assists, was sent to the line on the following offensive possession and was able to push the lead to four points.

Bullock was 4 for 4 in the third quarter, all from 3-point range, and Detroit erased what was a nine-point Miami lead to pull into an 81-81 tie going into the fourth.

Another positive in Wednesday's game was the return of Johnson, who had missed six of the Heat's last seven games.

Through 31 games, Johnson has averaged 17.4 FanDuel points with 7.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game.

Miami led 21-12 after an Adebayo dunk with 1:57 left in the opening quarter, but the Magic quickly turned the tables behind a 20-2 run eventually stretching their first half lead to as many as 11 points thanks to nine Heat turnovers over the first two quarters.

The Detroit Pistons travel to South Beach to take on the Miami Heat tonight, and both teams have been hobbled by the injury bug this season. James Johnson scored 16, Wayne Ellington had 12 and Hassan Whiteside added 10 for the Heat. Detroit will be without Reggie Jackson (ankle) until at least the All-Star break.

The back and forth swings that marked the first half continued in the third quarter with the Heat running off 10 consecutive points for a 76-67 lead and the Pistons responding with a 12-2 burst for a 79-78 lead. The Whiteside-Drummond matchup should be a good one.

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