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HHH GameTime Preview: Heat host Pistons

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Miami will try to break from the pack in a tight Southeast Division with a 7:30 showtime against the Detroit Pistons at the AmericanAirlines Arena.

This guy.
This guy.
Leon Halip-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight at 7:30, the Heat will host the Detroit Pistons in the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami. Tonight's matchup will be the second of four meetings between the two clubs this season. The series opened on November 25th with a 104-81 Miami loss in Detroit. They'll meet again on April 5th in Miami and on April 12th back in the Motor City.

The Heat are playing in the third game of a four game homestand. They opened on Friday night with a 108-94 loss to the Toronto Raptors before setting down the Portland Trail Blazers 116-109 on Sunday afternoon. They'll close it out against the New Orleans Pelicans on Christmas Day.

The Pistons are in playing in the second game of a three-game road trip. They defeated the Chicago Bulls, 147-144 in four overtimes on Friday night and will conclude tomorrow night with a game against the Atlanta Hawks.


The last time the Pistons faced the Heat was on November 25th, when the 7-7 Detroit squad defeated the visiting 9-4 Heat, 104-81. Andre Drummond had a monster game, scoring 18 points with 20 boards and five rejections. Reggie Jackson also scored 18 points, with seven assists in the win. Gerald Green paced Miami with 16 points and five rebounds, while Hassan Whiteside scored 15 with 13 boards and three blocked shots.

NBA.COM's Full Recap

They had us on our heels pretty much from the get go. They dictated the game and they imposed their will. They started that on the first possession of the game and they didn't stop. - Heat coach Erik Spoelstra

BK-Ref Box Score

For more on the Pistons, go to Detroit Bad Boys.

Miami's last game was a 116-109 home victory against the Portland Trail Blazers. Chris Bosh led Miami with 29 points and six rebounds, Hassan Whiteside notched a double-double with 22 points, 11 boards, and five blocks, and Dwyane Wade pitched in 18 points with seven dimes. Gerald Green and Luol Deng each scored 17 for Miami in the win. The Blazers were led by 32 points and nine assists from Damian Lillard, and also got 20 from CJ McCollum.

NBA.COM recap

It was harrowing in the second half, but I liked us showing some mental stability and competitive toughness while things weren't necessarily going our way. - coach Spoelstra

BKREF box score

For more on Portland, read Blazer's Edge

The Pistons won a four-overtime marathon against the Chicago Bulls on Friday night behind a 33 point, 21 rebounds night from Drummond. Jackson had 31 points and 13 assists, and Marcus Morris pitched in with 20. Ersan Ilyasova (18), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (17), and Stanley Johnson (16) also finished in double figures for Detroit. Jimmy Butler scored 43 points with eight boards in defeat for the Bulls. Derrick Rose had 34 with eight helpers, and Pau Gasol had 30 with 15 rebounds, five assists, and five blocks.

NBA.COM recap

I'm more happy than tired right now, but I'm sure when I get on the plane, you probably won't hear a word out of me. - Drummond

BK-ref box score

Here's more on the Bulls.

GameTime: 7:30 PM

All-Time: Tonight will mark the 99th meeting between Detroit and Miami, with the Heat holding a 51-47 edge in all-time head-to-head competition. Detroit will later this season become the 11th club to have played in 100 or more games against Miami.

Standings

Miami Heat: 16-10, .615, on pace for 50-32. First in the Southeast Division, second in the Eastern Conference, fifth in the NBA. Last Five: W-W-W-L-W.

Detroit Pistons: 16-12, .571, on pace for 47-35. Fourth in the Central Division, tied for seventh in the Eastern Conference, tied for 10th in the NBA. Last Five: W-W-L-W-W.

Injury Report

Heat

Player Date Type Note
Chris Andersen 2015-12-20 Illness Andersen is questionable to play against the Pistons on Tuesday due to an illness.
Tyler Johnson 2015-12-17 Shoulder Johnson is questionable to play Monday against the Pistons due to a shoulder injury.
Josh McRoberts 2015-12-11 Knee McRoberts is questionable to suit up Monday against the Pistons due to knee soreness.

Pistons

Player Date Type Note
Aron Baynes 2015-12-19 Back Baynes missed the last game with back spasms and is questionable to play Tuesday against the Heat.
Brandon Jennings 2015-08-27 Achilles Jennings is recovering from a left Achilles injury and is expected to return December 29th against the Knicks.
Jodie Meeks 2015-10-28 Foot Meeks had surgery to repair a right foot injury and is expected to miss up to 16 weeks.

Common Thread

Joel Anthony, known affectionately around these parts as "The Warden," played the first six and a half seasons of his NBA career with the Heat, and has two rings to show for it. He appeared in 382 regular season contests with Miami, playing an average of 16 minutes a night and scoring 2.4 points with 3.1 rebounds and 1.2 blocked shots.

Milestones

Games: Chris Bosh will pass Kevin Edwards into sole possession of 13th place with his 358th Heat game.

Field Goals: Udonis Haslem will become the fifth Heat player with at least 2,600 field goals with his next basket.

Three-Pointers: Luol Deng needs three three-pointers to tie Jon Sundvold in 34th all-time, with 108. Bosh will move into pass James Posey into 17th with two more three-pointers, which will give him 215.

Free Throws: Deng needs two free throws for 222, tying him in 40th with Jermaine O'Neal.

Rebounds: With 10 boards, Hassan Whiteside will pass Anthony Mason into 32nd all-time with 771. Bosh is 17 rebounds short of tying Brian Grant in sixth, with 2,654.

Assists: Goran Dragic will tie Ray Allen in 44th with two more helpers, at 278. Nine assists will move him even with Willie Burton in 43rd. Bosh needs six to move into Miami's top 20 all-time, tying Jamal Mashburn with 616.

Blocks: Hassan Whiteside passed Grant Long into 12th on Sunday afternoon with five blocks, and can reach John Salley in 11th with six more, which would give him 233. Haslem needs one to tie Eddie Jones in eighth, with 246.

Check back here at Hot Hot Hoops for the live GameThread, tonight around 7PM.