The Miami Heat gave it everything they had two nights earlier and came up short. Friday night, the Heat were reduced to throwing everyone they had left at the Detroit Pistons. It worked. The fact that LeBron James mixed in his first triple-double of the season was an added bonus. Coming off Wednesday night's crushing loss to the Indiana Pacers, and playing in the absence of Dwyane Wade, Mario Chalmers, Ray Allen and Greg Oden, the Heat maximized the balance of their roster in a 110-78 victory at the Palace of Auburn Hills. "What we liked about it was there could have been a lot of excuses," coach Erik Spoelstra said. "But it was about a collective response from the other night." With James Jones and Toney Douglas starting in the backcourt, and with Udonis Haslem opening at center, the Heat turned the Pistons' halftime celebration of their two-time "Bad Boys" NBA championship teams into a the reality of just how wretched these modern-day Pistons are. No, it didn't take the sting off Wednesday's 84-83 loss in Indiana, but it opened eyes to the possibilities of what has been hidden deep on the bench. As a bonus, the Pacers lost Friday to the Washington Wizards. While Haslem closed with a season-high 17 points, Jones with three 3-point conversions, and while Rashard Lewis shot 4 of 6 and Chris Andersen added 13 points, James was the glue. "He was aggressive," Spoelstra said, "putting an extreme amount of pressure on their defense." While he wasn't required for much in the way of offense, James filled out the box score with 17 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds, the Heat coaching staff making sure James stayed on the court long enough to get his triple-double and on the bench long enough to rest for the second night of this back-to-back set, Saturday's road game against the Milwaukee Bucks.
LeBron's triple-double lifts shorthanded Heat over Pistons
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel | Mar 29