LeBron James key late as Heat edge Pistons sans Dwyane Wade

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- With the game on the line, LeBron James looked as calm as could be while shooting his free throws.

The Miami star made six in a row in the final 1:19, lifting the

Heat to a 101-98 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday

night. James finished with 32 points, and Miami recovered after

blowing a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter.

"We've got to close out games," James said. "We know we're

going to get the best shot from everybody. To be able to be down

late in the game and then come back and win, it was good stuff for


The Heat trailed 98-95 after a 3-pointer by Detroit's Jonas

Jerebko, but James made two free throws to cut the deficit to one

with 1:19 left. After Damien Wilkins fumbled the ball out of bounds

for the Pistons, James drove straight at Austin Daye, drawing

another foul and putting Miami up 99-98.

"I've just got to go up and make them," James said. "When you

get the opportunity, you go up and make them, and then you live

with the results."

James made two more with 9.4 seconds remaining after Detroit's

Greg Monroe missed inside. Daye traveled in the final seconds while

trying to get a 3-point attempt off.

Chris Bosh hit his first seven shots and finished with 27 points

for Miami -- which was without Dwyane Wade, who sat out because of a

right ankle injury.

Daye scored a career-high 28 points for the Pistons. He'd scored

only 45 points in 13 games before Wednesday.

James went 13 of 14 from the free throw line after entering the

game shooting 73 percent. He had a 20-for-37 stretch from the line

over three games earlier this month, including an ugly 9-for-17

effort against the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Pistons trailed 90-80 in the fourth quarter before rallying

with a 12-0 run. They took the lead when rookie Brandon Knight made

a midrange shot after James nearly intercepted a crosscourt pass to


"I thought our guys showed great fight, spirit and resolve,"

Detroit coach Lawrence Frank said. "You have to look at the fight

for the whole game. If we can establish this as part of our DNA,

we'll put ourselves in position to win a lot of games, but it can't

be just Miami."

Bosh answered with five straight points to put the Heat up

95-92, but Monroe scored inside while being fouled and his free

throw tied the game. After a miss by Shane Battier, Jerebko made an

open 3-pointer from near the top of the key to give Detroit a 98-95


After a Miami timeout, Daye poked the ball away from James, and

Knight came up with it and was fouled. But he missed both free

throws, and Detroit wouldn't score again.

Wade missed his sixth consecutive game. Heat coach Erik

Spoelstra says he is still day-to-day.

Detroit's Tayshaun Prince missed the game because of a family

matter, and guard Ben Gordon was out with a sore shoulder.

Bosh handled most of the scoring early, going 6 for 6 in the

first quarter with a 3-pointer.

At one point, Miami led 14-9 and Bosh had 13 points. He hurt the

Pistons from the perimeter and inside, and the Heat led 24-17 after

the first.

Daye did his best to respond for Detroit, scoring 18 points in

the second quarter. Detroit moved the ball well on offense, and

Daye made four 3-pointers in the period.

"My teammates deserve a lot of the credit. We were doing a

great job of moving the ball and drawing guys out of position, and

that meant I got a lot of open shots," Daye said.

Miami led by as many as 11 in the second but had to settle for a

56-50 halftime lead after Daye's 12-footer at the buzzer.

At the end of the third quarter, it was James' turn to make a

last-second shot. His 3-pointer gave Miami an 80-74 lead.

The Heat snapped a three-game skid on the road.

"We're getting there," Battier said. "We haven't played well

the last week and a half. We get a big boost to our team with

Dwyane coming back off injury. Hopefully we can find our stride."

Game notes

Daye's previous career high was 22 points. ... Michigan

QB Denard Robinson was at the game and came onto the court to throw

a football into various sections of the crowd during a break in the

action in the first half. Then Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford

did the same from his seat near the court.