MIAMI, June 6 (Ticker) -- Dwyane Wade may have provided an initial lift for the Miami Heat, but Rasheed Wallace and Chauncey Billups carried the defending champion Detroit Pistons back to the NBA Finals.

Wallace had two free throws and a follow shot in a span of 32 seconds and Billups made four foul shots in the waning moments as the Pistons survived an emotional return by Wade to post an 88-82 triumph over the Heat in the deciding seventh game of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals.

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Wade, who missed all of Game Six with a rib injury, made the start for the top-seeded Heat and was a factor in the second half as Miami led, 74-68, with 6 1/2 minutes left. However, a short jumper by Tayshaun Prince ignited an 8-0 burst that gave Detroit the lead as the game seesawed into the final 90 seconds.

With the Heat clinging to a 79-78 lead, Wallace was fouled by Udonis Haslem and hit the ensuing free throws to put the Pistons ahead for good. After a miss by Wade, Prince missed a short layup, but Wallace was there for a nifty tip that pushed the lead to 82-79.

"Rasheed made about three or four unbelievable plays down the stretch," Pistons coach Larry Brown said.

Damon Jones had a free throw for Miami with 17.3 seconds to go, but Billups sealed the game from the line, making all four of his attempts around a dunk by Miami's Shaquille O'Neal.

"Well, he's come up big in so many games," Brown said. "You know, it did become a foul-shooting contest at the end."

"I love being in those situations; you know, where the game is near and I have a chance to ice it," Billups said. "I thrive in those kind of situations."

Prince added two free throws with less than a second left to cap the scoring and earn Detroit a matchup with San Antonio in the NBA Finals. The Spurs host Game One of the best-of-seven series on Thursday.

Detroit and San Antonio, which have accounted for three of the last six NBA titles, split their two-game season series.

"We have great respect for them," Brown said. "They have won two championships with (coach Gregg Popovich) and not very many people talk about it. And we're the defending champs and not many people talk about that."

"They're a great team with skilled players," Pistons forward Antonio McDyess said. "It will be a dogfight. We don't expect anything less. They'll be ready and we'll be ready."

Richard Hamilton led Detroit with 22 points, making 11-of-16 shots, and Wallace added 20. Billups made just 5-of-15 shots but was 6-of-7 from the line with eight assists.

O'Neal scored 27 points and Haslem had 13 and 10 rebounds, but Wade was just 7-for-20 from the field with five turnovers. Appearing to be hurt down the stretch, Wade missed two long jumpers and committed a turnover in the final 75 seconds.

"You've got to really commend him on his effort," Miami guard Keyon Dooling said of Wade. "He came out; he was really, really banged up. He was his normal self. He didn't have his explosiveness, but he found a way to get it done. He was in a lot of pain. The toughness and the character of Dwyane Wade is unquestionable."

Miami made just 2-of-11 3-pointers, committed 15 turnovers and was outrebounded, 41-35. The Heat missed 9-of-14 shots, committed 10 fouls and had five turnovers in the final quarter.

"We had the lead in the fourth, but they had more defense and hustle and got to the ball," O'Neal said. "Maybe (the Pistons) had more experience than we did. ... I don't think anybody expected us to get this far, but we had a lot of opportunities to get it done. ... We just had a phenomenal season. Everybody fought. Guys played well. We almost had it."

O'Neal had 10 of his points in the opening quarter as Miami opened an eight-point advantage but settled for a 23-21 lead after 12 minutes. Detroit opened the second quarter with a 15-4 burst.

The Pistons led, 45-37, and had the ball just before the half when Eddie Jones had a steal and buried a 40-foot desperation shot at the buzzer to draw the Heat within five at the break.

Wade had the AmericanAirlines Arena rocking in the third quarter, making 5-of-6 shots and scoring 12 of his 20 points in the period. Miami carried a 66-64 lead into the final 12 minutes and pushed that advantage to 74-68 following a free throw by Haslem 4:49 into the quarter.

Detroit was able to rally behind its trademark defense, which held Miami scoreless for the next 3 1/2 minutes and without a basket for another minute.

"I didn't think we got what we wanted down the stretch," Miami coach Stan Van Gundy said. "In a game that close, you have to execute down the stretch. We didn't. That's why we are where we are now."

Van Gundy's team did register 59 wins in the regular season but surrendered 2-1 and 3-2 leads in this series.

"I don't think, from a professional sense, from a basketball sense, that I've ever been more disappointed," he said. "I'm not disappointed in my players. I'm just extremely disappointed with the result. I mean, you fight all year to get this seventh game at home.

"To get the game here, and then to not be able to come through with a (six-point) lead in the fourth quarter, I don't know. It's going to be months of thinking about that and going over every play. It's just very, very difficult."