The Detroit Pistons were coming off an emotional double overtime loss in Atlanta. They then headed home to host the defending champion Miami Heat. The Heat came out swinging.
Miami opened up a 10-0 lead before MVP LeBron James even touched the ball. A Udonis Haslem jumper, followed by 3-pointers by Mike Miller; who replaced a suspended Dwyane Wade; and Mario Chalmers, and followed by a Chris Bosh jumper and it looked like this would be an old fashioned blowout.
Detroit finally got on the board when Tayshaun Prince posterized Bosh on a thunderous dunk. Then James got involved for Miami. James was knocking down pull up jumpers, pull up 3’s, and getting to the free throw line. After a quarter, the Heat were up 32-17.
Then coach Lawrence Frank inserted the bench and all of a sudden, things changed. Austin Daye knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers, Andre Drummond had a slam, Charlie Villanueva had a jam, and Villanueva hit a 3-pointer and the Pistons were within 32-31. Villanueva later knocked down another 3-pointer to put Detroit in front for the first time 41-39.
James came back off the bench to try and restore order. Everytime he made a basket, Will “The Thrill” Bynum answered. James tied it at 41, Bynum threw an alley-oop to Drummond. James had a dunk to tie it at 43, Bynum knocked down a deep 3-pointer to put the Pistons up 46-43. James tied it at 46 on a free throw, Bynum answered with a layup. James had a stepback, Bynum found Villanueva for a 3-pointer. Bynum would knock down another 3-pointer before the half ended and Daye had a stepback for a 58-52 lead at halftime. The Pistons bench out scored the starting unit 38-20.
To start the third quarter, the starters aswered the call. They opened on a 9-0 run which included a Prince 3-pointer, a couple of buckets by Jason Maxiell, and a nifty alley-oop from Maxiell to Greg Monroe. Kyle Singler had an And-1 for a 70-55 Pistons lead and later Brandon Knight knocked down another Pistons 3-pointer for a 74-59 lead. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Shane Battier and James got Miami to within 78-69 but the Pistons still carried an 81-71 lead into the final stanza.
The fourth quarter started with a 6-0 Heat run with four coming from James and another two from Ray Allen. The Pistons answered with a 9-0 run. Drummond started with a layup, then a Villanueva putback dunk, and a Bynum 3-pointer, followed by a Prince layup and Detroit was up 90-77.
Every time the Heat got close, Bynum would shut the door. Allen made a 3-pointer to bring Miami to within 103-95, Bynum answered with a jumper. After a Bosh dunk to bring the defending champs to within 105-97 with 2:02 left, Bynum knocked down another real tough jump shot. Then the dagger, after a big defensive stop, Bynum made his move into the paint and knocked down a floater to put the Pistons up 109-97 with 55.4 seconds left and Pistons play by play man George Blaha exclaimed, “Good night Miami!” The Pistons defeated the Heat 109-99 and beat Miami for the first time since 2009.
Bynum was terrific with 25 points, 13 coming in the 4th quarter, and 10 assists, Drummond had 10 and 10 rebounds, and Villanueva had 18. The Pistons shot an astonishing 12/19 from 3-point range and shot 58.1% overall. The Pistons received 66 points from their bench compared to 43 from their starters. The Pistons were missing Rodney Stuckey who suffered an ankle sprain in the loss to the Hawks. Detroit is now 2-0 without Stuckey.
This was a terrific win over a very good basketball team. Even without Wade, this team is still a great team. Detroit has to take this momentum and move forward as they host division rival Milwaukee on Sunday.