Wednesday , Mar , 22 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Big boys of the East meet in Auburn Hills

(Sports Network) – A possible preview of the Eastern Conference finals takes
place tonight, as the Detroit Pistons welcome the Miami Heat to The Palace of
Auburn Hills.

Detroit is in first place in the Central Division and is No. 1 in the Eastern
Conference playoff race, while Miami is in first place in the Southeast
Division and No. 2 in the East. The Heat trail the Pistons by a distant 8 1/2
games.

This is the third meeting of the campaign between the squads. In the two
previous contests, both clubs took home a win on their homecourt.

Miami has lost six of its last seven at Detroit.

The Heat are scheduled to host Detroit on April 6th at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Detroit attempts to win its third straight game and 16th in a row at home.
Rasheed Wallace ended with 26 points and eight rebounds as Detroit clinched
the Central Division with a 91-84 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Monday at
The Palace.

Tayshaun Prince added 18 points, while Richard Hamilton and Chauncey Billups
both netted 14 for the Pistons, who recorded their 15th consecutive win at The
Palace and wrapped up their fourth division crown in five years.

The Pistons are an NBA-best 29-2 at home this season. Their last loss at The
Palace was on January 7th to the Utah Jazz.

Miami will try and get back on the winning track, as it plays the finale of a
four-game road trip. On Tuesday, Ricky Davis netted 26 points and dished out
10 assists as the Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the Heat, 100-96, at the
Target Center.

Dwyane Wade finished with 35 points and eight assists in the loss to Minnesota
for the Heat, who had a five-game winning streak halted. Alonzo Mourning had a
double-double with 21 points and 12 boards, while Shaquille O’Neal did not
play for Miami as he sat out with a sore right thumb.

Shaq is questionable for tonight’s contest.

The Heat are a respectable 19-15 as the visitor this season.

DET MIA