Miami (23-7) at Detroit (15-12)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Auburn Hills, MI
Temp: 37° F
  • Game info: 8:00 pm EST Thu Dec 30, 2004
  • TV: SUN, TNT
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Miami Heat are hoping a few days off didn’t slow their momentum as they carry a franchise-record 12-game winning streak into Detroit to face the defending NBA champion Pistons.

This is Miami’s first game since beat visiting Atlanta 116-102 on Monday, when the Heat eclipsed the previous team mark for consecutive wins set from Jan. 27-Feb. 20, 1997.

The Heat had their first two-day break between games since Dec. 1-2. The 12 wins came during a 22-day stretch for Miami, which hasn’t lost since Dec. 4, when it dropped a 104-95 decision at Denver.

“I just want to keep it rolling, to be honest with you,” Heat guard Eddie Jones said. “Let’s keep going. I hate the fact that we have a couple days in between. … I know we’re not invincible, but we’re really confident right now.”

Shaquille O’Neal, playing with a sore back and ribs, scored 31 points, and Dwyane Wade added 27 points and nine assists against the Hawks.

O’Neal, who leads the NBA in field-goal percentage at 61 percent, is averaging 25.7 points in his last seven outings. Wade is averaging 27.8 points and 10 assists over his last four.

With Monday’s victory, the Heat improved to 17-2 against conference rivals— easily the best of any East team. One of those losses was to the Pistons, 78-77 at The Palace on Nov. 26. The other was against Toronto.

The Pistons matched their season high with their third straight victory Wednesday, beating Washington 107-105 on Chauncey Billups’ 14-foot jumper with 0.7 seconds to play.

Billups scored a season-high 32 points, going 11-of-16 from the field, including 6-of-8 from 3-point range. The point guard has hit 56 percent (20-for-36) from long range in his last six games.

The Pistons have won five straight home games against the Heat, and 10 of the last 12 meetings overall.

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