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Published: Friday, 12/28/2012

Detroit's bench too much for short-handed Heat; Pistons hold on for 109-99 win

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Detroit Pistons forward Tayshaun Prince drives against Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem during the first half Friday in Auburn Hills, Mich. Detroit Pistons forward Tayshaun Prince drives against Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem during the first half Friday in Auburn Hills, Mich.
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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Will Bynum had 25 points and 10 assists, leading another spirited performance by the Detroit bench, and the Pistons beat the short-handed Miami Heat 109-99 tonight despite 35 points by LeBron James.

Miami was without Dwyane Wade, suspended for a game by the NBA for flailing his leg and making contact with a Charlotte player Wednesday.

The Detroit reserves, who scored 85 points in a loss to Atlanta on Wednesday, contributed 64 on Friday. Charlie Villanueva had 18 and Austin Daye added 11, helping the Pistons snap Miami's six-game winning streak.

The Heat scored the game's first 10 points and led by 15 after one quarter, but the momentum shifted for good when the Pistons outscored Miami 41-20 in the second.

Chris Bosh had 28 points for the Heat.

Miami had cut a 17-point lead to four early in the fourth quarter, but Detroit's reserves steadied themselves. Rookie big man Andre Drummond scored inside, Villanueva scored after a turnover by James, and a 3-pointer by Bynum pushed the lead back to double digits at 88-77.

Detroit led 95-84 after Villanueva corralled a wild pass from Bynum and made a 3-pointer. Daye added a dunk in transition off a slick drop pass from Bynum for a 101-90 lead.

The Pistons shot 58 percent from the field to Miami's 51. The Heat had been 31-0 since the beginning of last season when shooting at least 50 percent.

The Heat said before the game they didn't agree with Wade's suspension for making contact with Charlotte's Ramon Sessions earlier in the week. Then Miami breezed through the first quarter, taking a 10-0 lead and eventually making 11 of its first 14 shots. It was 32-17 after one, but the game turned almost immediately.

Detroit's bench was again outstanding. The Pistons scored the first 14 points of the second and finally took a 41-39 lead on Villanueva's 3-pointer.

The bench — specifically Villanueva, Bynum, Drummond and Daye — scored 36 of Detroit's 41 points in the quarter, and the Pistons went into halftime with a 58-52 lead.

And that was only the beginning. Miami didn't start the third quarter any better than the second, allowing nine straight points to fall behind by 15. Greg Monroe's basket made it 76-59, and although the Heat increased the pressure defensively, they didn't always get the results they wanted.

After Shane Battier and James made consecutive 3-pointers to pull Miami within nine, James thought he'd knocked the ball away from Jason Maxiell cleanly near midcourt. But a foul was called and Maxiell made one of two free throws to make it 79-69.

It was 81-71 after three.

NOTES: Miami's Udonis Haslem is now Miami's career leader with 620 games played, snapping a tie with Wade because of the suspension. Haslem appeared to hurt his right shoulder early on when landing hard after an acrobatic block on Kyle Singler, but he was able to play on. ... Drummond had 10 points and 10 rebounds. ... James and Bosh were the only Miami players to score in double figures.



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