(SportsNetwork.com) - The Miami Heat failed in a bid to make up ground in the Eastern Conference with a recent loss and look to take their frustrations out on the Detroit Pistons Friday at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
The Heat dropped an 84-83 decision to the Indiana Pacers Wednesday in what could be described as an early playoff game. Tempers flared at times and the Pacers were able to squeeze out a win to regain a three-game lead over Miami at the top of the conference standings.
Evan Turner and David West made big shots at the end to lift the Pacers, while Heat center Chris Bosh missed on a desperation shot. Earlier, Bosh knocked down a 3-pointer to pull the Heat within a point. LeBron James gave up the ball to Bosh and scored a game-high 38 points.
"We didn't execute down the stretch," said Heat guard Dwyane Wade, who ended with 15 points. "That hurt us."
Bosh had eight points for Miami, which clinched the Southeast Division with Washington's 99-93 loss to Phoenix and has alternated results in the last six games and fell to 5-8 since March 4.
The Heat, who have won four straight Southeast titles, are winless in three straight and six of the last seven road games and sport a 20-16 record away from South Beach. They will close a three-game journey Saturday at Milwaukee.
Heat veteran sharpshooter Ray Allen missed the Indiana game due to the flu and is questionable Friday. Wade is also questionable with a leg cramp. Wade said after the Pacers loss he felt cramps and spasms in the leg.
Detroit has a tough challenge ahead with Miami in town and dropped a 97-96 decision to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday. Cavs reserve-turned-starter Dion Waiters knocked down the game-winning shot as time expired, sending the Pistons to their ninth loss in 11 tries.
The Pistons, who used a 17-1 run early on for a 21-7 advantage, had a 96-87 lead late in the game, but the Cavaliers stormed back and prevented the hosts from getting back in front.
"(It) was a screwy situation," said Detroit guard Kyle Singler, who scored 18 points. "We played well enough to win. We should have won, but the ball just didn't bounce our way."
Josh Smith had a game-high 24 points and Brandon Jennings finished with 17 and 13 assists for the Pistons, who were coming off a win at Utah that snapped a 13-game road losing streak. Greg Monroe scored 14 points and fellow big man Andre Drummond was limited to six points and 11 rebounds.
The Pistons have held their opponent under 100 points in two straight and three of the last four games. They are allowing 103.7 points per game and Miami is averaging 103.1 ppg. The Heat, though, have failed to score 100 or more points in five straight games.
Detroit is 15-22 at The Palace this season and will try to attack Miami with its inside game. The Pistons are first in points in the paint (52.4) and offensive rebounds per game (14.3).
Miami is 2-1 against Detroit this season and recorded a 110-95 victory at The Palace on Dec. 8. The Heat have won 16 of the last 19 games in this series and are 8-1 in the past nine games at the Pistons.
James is averaging 23.7 points against the Pistons this season, while Jennings is averaging 20.0 ppg in the 2013-14 series.