There wasn’t much defense being played by either side, but the Heat played a bit more down the stretch. That was all it took to get them the win.
Miami earned their seventh straight win while Detroit drop their second straight.
The game was hotly contested until the Heat was able to gain some space in the final quarter. Andre Drummond was dominant in the battle in the paint against Hassan Whiteside for most of the game, but Whiteside made a few big plays late. A couple of offensive rebounds let him score six straight points midway through the fourth to get the Heat an eight point lead.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope on the other hand was miserable all night, and a pair of defensive miscues from KCP sealed the game for the Heat. First an out of control closeout on Wayne Ellington from Caldwell-pope gave Ellington an open stepback three point shot. Shortly after, KCP failed to pick Ellington up on a fastbreak and gave up another three pointer. That put the Heat up 12 with under four minutes to play. Start writing.
The loss spoiled an impressive performance from Drummond, who seems to thrive squaring off against Whiteside. Drummond came out electric in the first quarter, posting nine points, eight rebounds, two steals, and a block in the period. This play may have earned Dre a technical foul, but it was worth it:
He finished with 17 and 20 with three steals and two blocks. He also kept Whiteside as mostly a non-factor, as the Heat star big man finished with 9 points on 4-9 shooting, 12 rebounds, and two turnovers.
KCP was on the other end of the spectrum. He was a disaster on both ends of the court, scoring just 5 points on 2-11 shooting. Even worse was his defense. Dion Waiters torched him in the first quarter dropping 13 points, then there was his aforementioned fourth quarter struggles.
Reggie Jackson was actually brilliant for most of the night, but fell apart in the fourth quarter. After starting off making 8 of his first 9 shots, he shot just 2-8 in the fourth. He finished with 24 points, three assists, seven rebounds, and four turnovers.
The Pistons stay on the road from here, tipping next against the Boston Celtics on Monday night.
|21||The Notorious S.V.G||4|
|31||The Better Morris Twin||1|
|32||The truth Rodney White||1|