Dwyane Wade’s mid-range jumper with under five seconds remaining came up short, squandering a golden opportunity for the Miami Heat and leading to a 93-92 victory for the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday.
The Pistons (17-12) trailed by as many as 18 points in the first half before a second quarter rally turned the tide and set the tone for a back-and-forth ballgame down the stretch.
Rookie Stanley Johnson set the tone in the second, connecting on a trio of 3-pointers over a three minute span, eventually turning a 40-22 deficit into a 54-52 halftime lead.
Detroit made 15 of 29 three-point attempts in all (51.7 percent), including 10 in the first half, one short of a franchise record.
Despite their hot showing from deep, the Pistons still found themselves in trouble late, trailing Miami 89-88 with just over two minutes remaining.
However, a botched Dwyane Wade layup inside quickly turned into a Kentavious Caldwell-Pope triple at the other end, delivering a 91-89 lead to Detroit for which they would not relinquish.
Reggie Jackson led the Pistons with 18 points and five rebounds. Four other Pistons joined Jackson in double figures, including Johnson (14), Caldwell-Pope (14), Steve Blake (12), and Andre Drummond (11).
The Pistons have won three straight and now stand just three games back of the Cleveland Cavaliers for the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
Chris Bosh led the Heat (16-12) with 20 points.
Additional Notes & Observations
- The rapidly improving bench play continues! The Pistons’ second unit combined for 37 points off the bench, 14 above their season average. The three-point barrage from Steve Blake, Stanley Johnson, and Anthony Tolliver (a combined 11-17 from deep) was the difference between a gritty road win and a blowout loss.
- Speaking of Johnson, the Pistons’ first round pick reigned supreme over lottery draft mate Justise Winslow. Johnson finished with 14 points, four rebounds, and three assists while Winslow managed just two points and one rebound (though his two points were rather spectacular).
- Steve Blake has now hit 16 of his last 27 three-pointers.