Thursday , Dec , 29 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Rematch of 2005 Eastern Conference finals

(Sports Network) – A rematch of the 2004-05 Eastern Conference finals takes
place tonight, as the red-hot Detroit Pistons welcome the Miami Heat to The
Palace of Auburn Hills.

The defending Eastern Conference champion Pistons got a scare in the 2005 East
finals, as they trailed Shaquille O’Neal, Dwyane Wade and the Heat 3-2 in the
best-of-seven series. However, the experience of the Pistons showed as they
won Game 6 at home and dismissed Miami on its homecourt in Game 7 to advance
to the NBA Finals for the second straight year.

The Pistons have won seven of eight, 10 of 12 and 11 of the last 14 meetings
in this series. Miami has lost six of eight and nine of its last 13 at
Detroit.

Detroit closesout a five-game homestand and comes into tonight’s game on an
eight-game winning streak. It won eight in a row to open the campaign. On
Tuesday, Richard Hamilton scored 24 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the floor
to lead a balanced Detroit attack, as the Pistons posted a 113-106 win over
the Toronto Raptors at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Chauncey Billups added 21 points and 13 assists in the win over Toronto for
the Pistons, who have won 14 of their last 15 games overall. Tayshaun Prince
chipped in 18 points, while Rasheed Wallace netted 16 for Detroit, which
improved its franchise-best start to a sizzling 23-3.

The Pistons are 11-1 at The Palace and are 11-1 against Eastern Conference
squads this season. They have won seven in a row in front of their home crowd.

Miami has won two straight games and plays the opener of a brief two-game
road trip. On Tuesday, Wade netted a game-high 35 points and dished out seven
assists as the Heat defeated the Milwaukee Bucks, 109-98, at AmericanAirlines
Arena.

Shaq finished with 23 points and eight rebounds in Tuesday’s victory for the
Heat, who are 6-2 under new head coach Pat Riley. Jason Williams chipped in 18
points and seven assists in the victory.for Miami, which has won seven of its
last nine games overall.

The Heat, who will visit the Washington Wizards on Friday at the MCI Center,
are 9-8 on the road this season. They have dopped four of their last seven as
the visitor.

DET MIA