Friday , Apr , 02 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Pistons host Heat in possible playoff preview

Auburn Hills, MI (Sports Network) – The Miami Heat play the middle contest of
a three-game road trip tonight, as they visit the Detroit Pistons at The
Palace of Auburn Hills.

The Pistons are the third seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race, while
Miami is tied with Milwaukee and New Orleans for fourth place in the East.

It will be the fourth and final meeting of the season between the two squads.
Detroit has won the three previous games.

Miami comes into tonight’s game on a two-game winning streak. On Wednesday,
Eddie Jones scored 23 points and Lamar Odom added 21 in leading the Heat to a
100-97 win over the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena.

Caron Butler posted a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds, while
Brian Grant added 14 points in the victory for Miami, which has won nine of
its last 10 contests.

Jones has scored in double digits in seven straight and 18 of his last 19
games. He has averaged 19.4 points in his last seven contests.

The Heat are 10-6 in Friday games this season. Miami, which has won three of
its last four as the visitor, is just 11-26 on the road.

Detroit comes into tonight’s contest on a two-game winning streak. On
Wednesday, Richard Hamilton scored 28 points and Chauncey Billups added 21,
leading the Pistons to a 108-99 win over the Los Angeles Clippers at The
Palace of Auburn Hills.

Mehmet Okur chipped in 19 points, while Corliss Williamson added 14 in the
victory for the Pistons, who are 14-1 when they score at least 100 points this

Hamilton has scored in double digits in eight straight games. He has averaged
17.5 points and four assists in that span.

Detroit, which has won six straight as the host, is 26-10 at home this season.
The Pistons have allowed at least 100 points only four times (3-1) this

The Pistons have won four straight contests in this series. Miami has lost
three straight and four of its last five at Detroit.