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Miami Heat cruise by Pistons 106-92, regain #1 spot in the East

With the Heat running on all cylinders in the Motor City (yeah, I went there), the Pistons didn't have nearly as good a showing as they did in the last game between the two teams. There was a bit of back and forth during the first quarter but the Heat played one of their best quarters of the season immediately afterwards and helped build a lead at halftime that wouldn't come close to going away in the second half. Detroit never mounted any sort of comeback in the second half as Wade and LeBron took turns attacking the Pistons' soft transition defense while Bosh dotted the "i"s and crossed the "t"s with 10 rebounds and 17 points of his own. LeBron was 2 rebounds away from a triple-double with 16 points, 10 assists and 8 rebounds (along with 4 steals). Wade wasn't too far off from a triple-double himself with 24 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists. But this wasn't just a dominating display from the Big 3. Eddie House continues to improve and has made Carlos Arroyo an afterthought at the end of the bench. Zydrunas Ilgauskas was dominating the glass and knocking down shots early at the start of the game, which he's known to do from time to time. He may not be able to contribute like that throughout the game but it's nonetheless a catylst for the Heat offense when he can get hot like that in the early going. Above all, it's truly been a pleasure to see Mike Miller getting comfortable with his new teammates and really bring that solid sixth-man support every elite team needs. Of course at some point of every game it seems like he ends up injured in some way and a nasty blow to his head while trying to take a charge was a good example of that. The Pistons looked pretty lifeless throughout most of the game, had trouble with the Heat's length when securing rebounds and could not stop the Heat when they ran the floor. Yes, Detroit had their fair share of turnovers which allowed Miami to get a lot of easy baskets on fast breaks but there were plenty of times where the Heat would get a defensive rebound, LeBron would push the ball upcourt quickly and the Pistons were slow to react. The Heat notched 30 fast break points compared to only 13 for the opposition. The Pistons are a hard team to figure out. They have some solid players including a Richard Hamilton who remains sidelined for mysterious reasons (now it's because of an alleged groin injury) and an intriguing prospect in Austin Daye but collectively they're a mess. The defense is unrecognizable as one coming from typically good Pistons teams and their lack of size shouldn't that big of a problem playing in the East. The good news is that they're only a few games behind the Indiana Pacers for the eighth spot in the playoffs with only the Charlotte Bobcats and the Milwaukee Bucks in between. A solid stretch of basketball and they could make it. They're not bad enough to get a real good chance at the top picks in the draft unless they tank the rest of the way. Now it's on to Boston for the most important game of the season so far. The Heat must win to retain any chance of denying the Celtics the tiebreaker if it should come to it for top seeding in the East. Not only that, they need to avenge their two losses to Boston and prove they are the team to beat in the East. They looked great on Friday night, now the Heat must build on their confidence and not allow themselves to be intimidated by the Celtics.

Game flow courtesy of