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GAME PREVIEW: Heat complete road trip against Pistons

Miami must take care of business against a team that has lost 14 in a row.

Miami Heat v Detroit Pistons Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

GAME STORY

The Miami Heat (17-12) complete their road trip tonight against the Detroit Pistons (4-24) at the Little Caesars Arena with an early tip-off scheduled for 6:00pm.

Just one game after beating the Orlando Magic, the second-worst team in the NBA, the Heat now face the team with the worst record overall. Detroit has not won a game since more than a month ago, a 97-89 victory against the Indiana Pacers on November 17 to improve their record to 4-10.

To help make matter even worse for the Pistons, leading scorer Jerami Grant is out for several weeks after recently undergoing surgery to repair a torn UCL in his left thumb. Former Heat forward Kelly Olynyk (knee) will also not be available tonight.

No. 1 overall draft pick Cade Cunningham has played well in Grant’s absence, averaging 21.4 points, 5.4 assists and 5.6 rebounds for the month of December.

Miami beat Detroit in their first matchup of the season 100-92 on November 23, though it wasn’t easy — even if it took place during the Pistons’ current losing streak. Tyler Herro (who has been upgraded to day-to-day) led his team with 31 points and eight rebounds as the Heat outscored the Pistons 33-16 in the final quarter to turn the game around from a nine-point deficit and eke out the road victory.

What is concerning is that the Heat struggled to put them away even with Herro, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo all playing that night — a luxury they won’t have today.

ODDS: FiveThirtyEight gives the Heat a 75% chance to win the game.

HEAT VS PISTONS: SUNDAY, DECEMBER 19 AT 6:00 P.M.

INJURIES

MIAMI:

  • Victor Oladipo - out (knee; surgery rehab)
  • Markieff Morris - out (whiplash)
  • Bam Adebayo - out (thumb surgery recovery)
  • Jimmy Butler - out (tailbone)
  • Caleb Martin - out (Health & Safety Protocol)
  • Tyler Herro - day-to-day (quad)
  • Marcus Garrett - day-to-day (eye)

DETROIT:

  • Jerami Grant - out (thumb)
  • Kelly Olynyk: out (knee)

LINEUPS

Projected Starters

Lakers Position Heat
Lakers Position Heat
Russell Westbrook PG Gabe Vincent
Avery Bradley SG Duncan Robinson
Trevor Ariza SF Jimmy Butler
LeBron James PF PJ Tucker
Dwight Howard C Bam Adebayo

BROADCAST INFO

TV: Bally Sports Sun, NBA League Pass
RADIO: The Ticket 790AM & The HEAT Radio Network (Jason Jackson, Ruth Riley Hunter)
SPANISH RADIO: WAQI 710AM & The HEAT Spanish Radio Network (José Pañeda, Joe Pujala)

Come back to Hot Hot Hoops at game time to join our GameThread and chat about the game live with other Heat fans!