The Miami Heat will leave the friendly surroundings of South Beach and are scheduled to play three straight and five of six games on the road, starting with tonight's matchup with the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
The Southeast Division-leading Heat recorded their 14th straight home win with Tuesday's 99-95 come-from-behind victory over the much-improved Phoenix Suns. Chris Bosh had 29 points and eight rebounds, while LeBron James added 20 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the Heat, who scored 17 straight points to overcome a double-digit deficit in the final stanza.
"We are a very confident team," said James, who is questionable tonight with a head/elbow issue. "We know we can play better. We do not want to put ourselves in the position where we have to have a 17-0 run in order to take command of the game. It shows how far we have come as a team to be able to be down 10 points and then go on a 17-0 run."
Dwyane Wade scored 19 and Udonis Haslem had 15 in the win. Miami's last loss at AmericanAirlines Arena came on Jan. 22 versus Milwaukee. The Heat, who are seeded second in the Eastern Conference, will also visit the Thunder and Pacers on the three-game road trip before returning to south Florida to face Dallas next Thursday. They are 14-9 as the guest in 2011-12.
Also, the Heat inked center Ronny Turiaf on Wednesday. The seven-year veteran out of Gonzaga averaged 4.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 64 games -- 21 starts -- with New York in 2010-11.
"We are very happy to be able to add an experienced veteran center at this stage of the season," Miami president Pat Riley said. "Ronny's energy will be a great addition and bolster our front line."
Detroit just completed an unsuccessful five-game road trip with a 1-4 mark and suffered a 116-115 setback at Denver on Wednesday. JaVale McGee's put-back slam in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter helped the Nuggets escape with the victory and sent Detroit to its third straight loss.
Ben Gordon tied his own NBA record for most consecutive three-pointers made in a game without a miss by connecting on 9-of-9 shots from beyond the arc en route to a season-high 45 points.
"You can't say enough positive adjectives about the job he did. He was phenomenal," Pistons head coach Lawrence Frank said about Gordon.
Brandon Knight posted 16 points and Greg Monroe added a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Pistons, who shot 50.6 percent and did not have guard Rodney Stuckey due to a toe injury and forward Charlie Villanueva (ankle). Both players are questionable for Friday's game with the Heat.
Stuckey is second on the team in scoring with 16.3 ppg and is averaging 23.1 points in his past nine contests. Monroe has scored in double figures in 39 games this season and leads the team with 16.5 ppg. The Pistons, who are 12-11 at home and last in the Central Division, will hit the road again for four straight games against the Knicks, Wizards, Cavs and Bulls after Friday.
The Pistons and Heat will play the second of three meetings this season and are slated to square off again on April 8 down south. Miami won the first matchup, 101-98, on Jan. 25 behind James' 32 points, seven assists and six rebounds. The Heat have won five straight and 10 of the past 11 meetings between the teams.
Miami has won six in a row after losing the previous last six at Detroit.