The Miami Heat (45-32) gained playoff ground after their home win over the Detroit Pistons (41-37) Tuesday night. Miami did not give Detroit much of a chance throughout the game, blitzing the Pistons 107-89 and assuring itself a fifth place spot in the Eastern Conference race.
Detroit started the match up with the lead and then slightly fell behind throughout the first quarter. The Heat did not let the Pistons rally, staying 18 points ahead at the half.
Heat guard Josh Richardson says the team did not let up and kept applying pressure after their halftime lead.
Detroit narrowly avoided its lowest-scoring first half of the season. The Pistons got within 13 early in the third quarter, before the Heat’s Richardson finished off a 7-0 flurry with a 3-pointer that restored a 20-point cushion.
Reggie Jackson and Tobias Harris each scored 21 for Detroit and Andre Drummond added had 12 points and 13 rebounds.
Miami shot 52.4 percent and turned it over only nine times. Goran Dragic had 22 points and eight assists, and Dwyane Wade added 16 points, playing for the first time since bruising his back and straining his neck after his fall in the overtime loss against the Lakers last Wednesday. He played for just 25 minutes thanks to the 23-point lead the Heat built early in the fourth.
Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra says Wade played well Tuesday night despite the injuries.
Richardson buried four three-pointers and scored 16 points for Miami, 12 points came from Luol Deng and Joe Johnson added 11. The Heat held Detroit to 40 percent shooting, 24 percent from 3-point range.
Up next, the Heat are looking to win their second straight home win as they host the Bulls (39-39) Thursday night.