Miami (38-14) at Detroit (20-33)

By NOEY KUPCHAN, STATS Writer Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 Tipoff: 7:30 pm EST Fri Feb 11, 2011

LeBron James(notes) led the short-handed Miami Heat to a one-point win in their last matchup with the Detroit Pistons.

With Dwyane Wade(notes) and Chris Bosh(notes) back on the court, though, he likely won’t need to carry the load himself this time around.

While looking for a fourth straight road win over the Pistons, Miami will try for an eighth consecutive victory overall as it begins a four-game trip Friday night.

Despite trailing by seven heading into the fourth quarter Tuesday, the Heat (38-14) extended their winning streak by beating Indiana 117-112 as James had 41 points, a season high-tying 13 rebounds, eight assists, three steals and a block.

“I’ll tell you what, he’s playing MVP-like basketball on both ends of the court,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “He had a motor tonight that did not fatigue. It was amazing.”

James—the only active player averaging at least 20.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists—registered 39, eight and nine, respectively, in an 88-87 win Jan. 28 versus Detroit while Wade (wrist) and Bosh (ankle) were held out.

Wade had 17 points and seven assists while Bosh contributed 19 points and seven rebounds against the Pacers. Wade, though, isn’t concerned with individual accolades.

“You don’t have to be awesome every night,” he said. “You have to find a way to help your ballclub win and we were able to do that.”

Miami has taken seven of eight from Detroit - including three straight at the Palace of Auburn Hills by an average of 16.3 points.

The Pistons (20-33), meanwhile, enter this contest having won three of four and after extending host Cleveland’s NBA record skid to 26 with a 103-94 victory on Wednesday.

“You don’t want to be the team that loses to them,” said Pistons guard Tracy McGrady(notes). “(ESPN analyst) Tim Legler, we heard you. You gave us some bulletin board material. We used that.”

Detroit is currently in 11th place in the Eastern Conference, but just 3 1/2 games behind Indiana for the eighth and final playoff spot.

“We’re working so hard to get as many wins as we possibly can. (The game against Cleveland) happened to be the next game in the schedule and the next one is equally important now,” Pistons coach John Kuester said.

Rodney Stuckey(notes) scored 22 points off the bench in his second game back after missing five with a shoulder contusion. Stuckey, who leads the team with 15.3 points per game, has scored at least 18 in three of his last four home meetings with Miami.

Detroit’s recent success comes in part from a solid defense that’s allowed 88.5 points over its last four games. The Pistons, however, could have trouble slowing down the Heat, who are averaging 107.0 points in their last three road contests.

Detroit is 1-19 in regulation when giving up at least 100 points.

The Pistons’ Richard Hamilton(notes) was held out Wednesday for the second consecutive game with a sore groin and his status for this game is unknown. Since joining Detroit in 2002-03, he’s averaged 17.3 points in 12 career home games against the Heat.

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Friday, Feb 11