Pistons at Heat Game Preview - Apr. 8, 2012
A second consecutive dreadful start seems unlikely if the Heat are still fired up from having their 17-game home winning streak snapped going into a matchup with the Detroit Pistons.
Miami hadn't lost at home since Jan. 22 against Milwaukee until a 97-82 defeat to Memphis on Friday. The Heat trailed from start-to-finish in a home game for the first time since falling to Boston on Nov. 11, 2010, and missed a chance to match the longest home win streak in franchise history.
"I think we've established that this is a tough place to play here," Chris Bosh said. "Hopefully we can get on another streak and get back to playing well because we're gonna have a lot of home games."
The Heat (39-15) are in the midst of a stretch during which they play 10 of 13 in Miami, including the finale of a five-game homestand Tuesday against Boston.
They fell behind 25-12 after the first quarter Friday, committing 11 turnovers, and never cut the deficit below double digits. The Heat fell to 15-10 when committing more than 15 turnovers, compared to 24-5 when they don't.
"When we turn the ball over, we're not that good," LeBron James said. "We understand that. We know that. We don't care when we have attack turnovers, guys getting into the lane and trying to make plays for others and make a turnover. We had a few careless ones."
Whereas that loss came against a surging Memphis team which is fifth in the Western Conference, Miami now faces a Detroit squad which is 10th in the East and has one of the league's worst road records at 6-22. Only one of the Pistons' road wins came against a team with a winning record.
The Heat are an NBA-best 23-3 at home and have won 11 of 12 in this series overall, including all six meetings since James and Bosh joined the team.
The Pistons (21-34) had won three straight and five of six before losing 101-96 in Atlanta on Friday.
Greg Monroe was limited to eight points after averaging 18.7 during the three-game win streak. Rookie point guard Brandon Knight had just two assists, and the Pistons fell to 4-16 when he doesn't finish with at least three.
Rodney Stuckey scored 27 points in his second game back after missing three straight and six of eight with toe and hamstring injuries.
"It doesn't matter how well I played tonight, because we still fell short," Stuckey said. "We just have to come back and play hard against Miami on Sunday."
Stuckey has had problems with the Heat, averaging 10.3 points on 34.4 percent shooting his last four games against them. He missed an 88-73 home loss to Miami on March 23.
The Heat forced 23 turnovers in that win and held Detroit to 38.7 percent from the field. They've since allowed an average of 47.0 percent while going 4-4.
Miami has had shooting problems of its own this month, hitting 39.5 percent from the floor in four games and going 20 of 71 from 3-point range (28.2 percent). Bosh is averaging 13.0 points in April, well off his season mark of 17.9.