Goran Dragic scored 22 points to lead the Heat to a 107-89 victory over the Pistons on Tuesday night. Dragic shot 9-of-15 from the field and was perfect on his four 3-point attempts for the Heat (45-32), which remained in fifth in the Eastern Conference standing.
Miami shot 9-of-14 from behind the arc. Detroit finished 5-of-21 from 3-point range -- a stark contrast from their two wins against Miami earlier in the season, when the Pistons converted 16-of-31 and 15-of-29.
"Everybody was involved," Dragic said. "When everybody is feeling the ball great things happen."
The Heat were threatened after an 11-0 run midway through the second period expanded a three-point lead into a double-digit advantage. Justise Winslow keyed the surge with five points and his three-point play with 5:52 remaining capped the run for a 40-26 lead for Miami, which snapped a two-game losing streak.
"Everything starts with defense and we played well tonight," Dragic said. "We want to play at home in the playoffs and that is the most important thing right now. We still have five games left and everything counts."
Dwyane Wade returned from a two-game absence and scored 16 points. Wade, who played 25 minutes against the Pistons, was sidelined because of a bruised back.
Josh Richardson scored 16 points, going 4-for-5 on 3-pointers. Hassan Whiteside finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds for his 22nd double-double of the season.
Late in the second period, Johnson's layup with 1:04 left gave Miami its first 20-point lead at 52-32. Johnson scored the Heat's final six points of the quarter for a 54-36 lead at halftime.
"The energy on both ends was very good," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Obviously, they torched us beyond the 3-point line in our first two games but I thought we were more aggressive tonight."
The Pistons got no closer than 66-53 on Reggie Jackson's jumper with 5:58 remaining in the third period. Dragic scored five points in the final 24 seconds of the quarter to increase Miami's lead to 82-63.
"They just dominated us at both ends of the floor all night," Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said. "From the start to the finish they dominated us and particularly from the perimeter. There wasn't one thing that we were competitive. Very disappointing effort but give them credit, too. They were great."
Jackson and Tobias Harris scored 21 points each for the Pistons (41-37), who remained in eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
"It's tough -- they definitely came out with more energy to start," Jackson said. "We felt like we had some good looks, just felt like there was a lid on the basket. We feel like we are better than this."
NOTES: Tuesday's game began the 19th back-to-back set for Detroit, which closes the regular season on April 12-13 with their 20th consecutive-games set against Miami and Cleveland, respectively. ... The buzzer-winning shot that gave Villanova a 77-74 victory over North Carolina for the NCAA championship on Monday enabled Darrun Hilliard, a Villanova graduate, to win a second "side bet" with a Pistons teammate during the tournament. Hilliard first won a friendly wager with Marcus Morris, formerly of Kansas, after the Wildcats defeated the Jayhawks in the South Regional final. Morris was forced to wear Hilliard's Villanova jersey during a Pistons practice. Hilliard will now collect an undisclosed wager from former Tar Heel Reggie Bullock after Monday's tournament final. ... : Light workouts Monday and Tuesday helped Dywane Wade gauge his return to the Heat lineup against Detroit. Wade missed the last two of Miami's three-game road trip because of a bruised back. Wade played the first game of the West coast set at the Los Angeles Lakers before sitting consecutive games at Sacramento and Portland....Coach Erik Spoelstra had no update on the possible return of center Chris Bosh. Bosh played 53 games and averaged 19.1 points per-game but has been sidelined since the All-Star break because of a recurrence of blood clots that also forced him the final two months of the 2014-15 season.