Heat beat Pistons 99-93, pull within win of Southeast title
AUBURN HILLS, MICH. >> Dwyane Wade got off to his slowest start offensively in a decade and finished with 14 points, helping the Miami Heat beat the Detroit Pistons 99-33 on Tuesday night.
Miami will win the Southeast Division and earn home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs if it closes the regular season Wednesday night by beating Boston on the road.
The Pistons' loss sealed their spot as the eighth-seeded team in the Eastern Conference, setting up a matchup with top-seeded Cleveland.
Wade didn't score until there was 4:14 left in the first half. He had not been scoreless that long at the start of a game since March 17, 2006, against Charlotte, according to STATS. Wade broke his scoreless start with a three-point play and had seven points in a 50-second stretch.
Joe Johnson scored 25 points, including consecutive 3-pointers to help the Heat take a seven-point lead midway through the fourth. He made another shot from beyond the arc with 46.5 seconds left to put them up by seven again.
Miami's Goran Dragic scored 16 points, Hassan Whiteside had 14 points and nine rebounds while Luol Deng had 17 points and 10 rebounds.
The Pistons were without their leading scorer, Reggie Jackson, who missed the game with an abdominal strain.
Detroit's Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 17 points, Marcus Morris and Tobias Harris each scored 16. Steve Blake scored 10, starting in Jackson's place. Andre Drummond had nine points and 18 rebounds.
Heat: Dragic had a tooth jarred loose during the first half by Detroit's Spencer Dinwiddie and no foul was called. Dragic took the tooth and threw it toward Miami's bench. ... Dorrell Wright did not play after returning to the franchise as a free agent earlier in the day.
Pistons: Team owner Tom Gores said it was a "milestone," for the Pistons to make the playoffs, but he said the franchise will not be satisfied with just getting into the postseason.
Heat: Play at Boston Wednesday.
Pistons: Play at Cleveland Wednesday.
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