NBA Basketball

93
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Miami 17 22 30 24 93
Detroit 30 23 12 33 98
98
4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)01:0019:00 ET6:00 PM CT22:00 , January 18, 2019
Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan  Attendance: 17,228

Full-strength Pistons ready to host Heat

According to STATS
According to STATS

Miami Heat at Detroit Pistons

  1. Each of the last six Heat-Pistons games has been decided by single digits, and the last one was a 120-115 Miami win on November 5, the Heat's only overtime game of the season and one of Detroit's NBA-high six OT games.
  2. At 21-21, Miami is at .500 for the 10th different time, second most in the NBA this season (Hornets: 17) and one shy of the most in a season in franchise history (11 in 1993-94).
  3. Detroit has allowed its opponents to shoot 50.0 percent or better from the field in three of the last five games, but the Pistons have not shot 50.0 percent or better in 39 straight games, the longest drought by any team since the 2014-15 Knicks (54 straight).
  4. Justise Winslow has scored in double figures in 11 straight games, the longest streak of his career. Winslow had never gone more than four straight games with 10+ points prior to his current streak.
  5. Andre Drummond had a season-high 24 rebounds in the teams' meeting on November 5, and his 15.7 career rebounds per game in 21 games against the Heat are the highest by any player all-time.
  6. Blake Griffin has scored at least 15 points in 29 straight games. The last Pistons player with a longer streak was Bob Lanier from 1976-77 (63 straight).

The Detroit Pistons are thrilled to have all their players back. The abundance of veteran players on the Miami Heat's roster has some players grumbling.

Those two teams will meet at Detroit's Little Caesars Arena on Friday.

Detroit's second unit has been fortified by the return of point guard Ish Smith and center Zaza Pachulia. Smith has played the last two games after missing more than a month with an adductor tear. Pachulia was back in action during the Pistons' 120-115 overtime victory against Orlando on Wednesday after missing the previous eight games due to a leg contusion.

The reserves supplied 42 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists while making just two turnovers against the Magic. The Pistons (19-24) won for just the sixth time in 23 games.

"We feel whole," coach Dwane Casey said to Detroit Free Press. "The speed of the game, the physicality is back with the second unit. The passing, the screening is back with the second unit with Zaza back. We have players that have gifts where other players have weaknesses. They kind of complement each other. You take one of those out, it really disrupts us."

Pachulia contributed six points, three rebounds and three assists in a 15-minute stint. His screening helped to free up shooters like second-year guard Luke Kennard, who had 14 points.

"A lot of guys don't want to screen because it's flesh on flesh," Casey said. "It's not like football where you have knee pads and all that. Flesh on flesh, try to do that sometime, it's hard. The willingness and toughness you have to have to put your body into another 200-pound guy coming at you full speed, it takes courage."

The Heat's primary focus will be to keep Blake Griffin in check and Andre Drummond off the boards. Griffin scored 30 points against the Magic, including the last five of the game, while Drummond pulled down 22 rebounds, 11 at the offensive end.

Miami (21-21) got blown out by Milwaukee, 124-86, in its most recent game on Tuesday. Afterward, guard Dion Waiters complained about his playing time.

Waiters has appeared in five games since recovering from a long-term ankle injury. He saw just 12 minutes of action against the Bucks.

"I want to play. I've been patient long enough," he said to the Miami Herald. "What do I got to be patient for? Come on, man. I've been patient. I think everybody knows that. It's time. What are we waiting for? If I'm out there, play me."

Waiters was the 11th player to enter the game and scored two points with three turnovers.

Forward Justise Winslow criticized some of his teammates for their lack of fight.

"Guys looked like we didn't want to be here when we were down 20 (points)," he told the Herald. "We can't have that. Guys got to want to compete from 20, (30) down. We became disconnected."

Guard Wayne Ellington is also frustrated with his playing time. He played eight minutes on Tuesday after not appearing in the previous nine games.

--Field Level Media

Updated January 17, 2019

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