Miami (37-38) at Detroit (48-27)

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  • Game info: 8:00 pm EST Fri Apr 2, 2004
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Miami and Detroit are both trying for home-court advantage in the postseason. The Pistons, however, are looking to benefit from it later on in the playoffs as well.

Detroit looks for its first season sweep of Miami in 15 years when the teams meet for the fourth and final time this season.

The Heat have won nine of their last 10 and have made an incredible rise in the Eastern Conference standings.

Miami has moved into a tie with Milwaukee and New Orleans for fourth place in the East, which would give the Heat home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

Detroit, meanwhile, has the second-best record in the conference, but would be the third seed behind division-leaders Indiana and New Jersey. However, if the Pistons finish with a better record than the Nets, they would have the home-court advantage if the teams met in a the second round.

The Pistons are currently 4 1/2 games better than the Nets.

Miami continued its strong play on Wednesday, beating the Atlanta Hawks 100-97 on the road for its second straight victory.

Atlanta took a 96-88 lead with 3:30 left in the fourth quarter, but Dwyane Wade made a go-ahead runner with 39 seconds remaining to cap a frantic comeback by Miami.

“Winning gives you confidence,” Heat coach Stan Van Gundy said. “Confidence will not come from anything. Winning breeds confidence. Any type of accomplishment breeds confidence, not anything else.”

Detroit won its second in a row without Rasheed Wallace on Wednesday, 108-99 over the Los Angeles Clippers. Wallace also missed the Pistons’ 100-85 win over the New York Knicks on Saturday because of a sore back.

Mehmet Okur had 19 points, six rebounds and three assists starting in place of Wallace, who could return on Friday.

“I thought Memo played great,” Pistons coach Larry Brown said. “I was really proud of him. “We got a win, and again, that’s why you have a team.”

Detroit hasn’t swept Miami in a season since winning both meetings in the Heat’s inaugural campaign in 1988-89. The Pistons are 8-2 in the last 10 games in the series.

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