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- The Heat will play with a short deck tonight. Shooting guard Dwyane Wade tested his strained left Achilles tendon and sore hamstring during the pregame but won’t play. His backcourt partner, point guard Mario Chalmers, is also a late scratch because of a thigh bruise. He will be reevaluated on Saturday.
- Center Greg Oden will sit with minor back spasms, while top reserve Ray Allen did not make the trip because of a stomach flu.
- Udonis Haslem will start at center in place of Oden. James Jones and Toney Douglas will start in the backcourt.
- Miami has lost eight of 13, including a pivotal 84-83 defeat to Eastern Conference frontrunner Indiana on Wednesday. Miami also plays at Milwaukee on Saturday. “We have to get right back at it,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “It’s an important game and an important weekend for us. We understand that and there are no excuses, regardless of who plays. We want to earn a win tonight by doing things the right way.”
- The Pistons have lost six of their last seven, including a fourth-quarter collapse against Cleveland on Wednesday which resulted in a 97-96 defeat. Detroit has all of its regulars available.
- The Pistons will celebrate the 25th anniversary of their first championship season in 1988-89 during a halftime ceremony.
– Dana Gauruder