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Miami Heat Protest Trayvon Martin Case, Beat Detroit Pistons 88-73

By NOAH TRISTER 03/23/12 10:36 PM ET AP

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- LeBron James had 17 points and 10 assists to lead the Miami Heat to their fourth straight victory, 88-73 over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night.

Dwyane Wade added 24 points for the Heat, who posed for a photo earlier in the day wearing team-logo hoodies. Players were speaking out following the death of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teenager wearing a hooded sweatshirt who was shot by a neighborhood crime-watch volunteer last month in a suburb of Orlando, Fla.

Several Heat players, including Wade and James, took the floor with messages such as "RIP Trayvon Martin" and "We want justice" scrawled on their sneakers.

Brandon Knight scored 18 points for the Pistons, who have lost five of six.

Wade posted a photo of himself from a previous photo shoot wearing a hooded shirt, otherwise known as a hoodie, to his Twitter and Facebook pages on Friday morning. A couple hours later, James posted another photo – this one of 13 Heat players, all wearing team-logo hoodies, their heads bowed, their hands stuffed into their pockets.

Martin was killed as he was returning to a gated community, carrying candy and iced tea. A neighborhood crime-watch volunteer, George Zimmerman, said he acted in self-defense. He has not been arrested, though state and federal authorities are still investigating.

Protests have popped up nationwide in recent days, with thousands of people – many of them wearing hoodies – calling for action. Miami coach Erik Spoelstra called the team photo "a powerful move."

Once the game started, the Heat made quick work of the Pistons. Miami led by 26 in the third quarter, although Detroit did rally to make it respectable.

Detroit trailed 72-57 after three and cut the deficit to single digits early in the fourth. After Jonas Jerebko's reverse dunk on a breakaway made it 74-65, the Heat took a timeout with 8:58 to play.

Wade made a floater to start a 10-2 run.

Detroit was without guard Rodney Stuckey, out with a sore left big toe. Ben Gordon, who made all nine of his 3-point attempts in a 45-point effort at Denver on Wednesday night, went 0 for 4 from beyond the arc and scored 10 points.

Miami's Joel Anthony returned to the lineup after missing Tuesday's win over Phoenix with a sprained left ankle. He scored six points.

The Heat shot 57 percent in the first half and finished the second quarter strong. Wade's layup off a pass from James with 4.3 seconds remaining made it 59-36, and Chris Bosh blocked Will Bynum's attempt at a driving layup at the other end.

James intercepted a pass near midcourt in the third quarter and found Wade alone downcourt for an alley-oop dunk. Mario Chalmers then sank a 3-pointer to make it 70-44.

NOTES: Knight now holds Detroit's rookie record for 3-pointers after making four Friday for a season total of 73. Lindsey Hunter made 69 in 1993-94. ... Miami's Mike Miller remained out with a sprained left ankle. ... Wade missed a streaking James in the fourth quarter on an alley-oop attempt when James was unable to handle a high pass.

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Filed by Amanda McCorquodale  |