Late Heat rally secures much-needed 112-100 victory over Pistons

Mar 20, 2023 - 1:04 AM
NBA: <a href=Miami Heat at Detroit Pistons" src="" />
Allison Farrand-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat’s five-minute fourth quarter surge propelled their 112-100 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday evening.

The Pistons led 96-92 with 5:12 left, but a 20-4 Heat splash — capped by eight crucial points from Tyler Herro, after entering the final period with seven points through three quarters, plus a turnaround jumper from Jimmy Butler — led to a much-needed win for Miami, who was coming off a 14-point loss to the Chicago Bulls on Saturday evening.

Herro finished with 19 points — including 12 in the 4th quarter — on 7-of-17 shooting, including 3-of-9 from 3-point range, adding six rebounds and four assists. Butler tallied a game-high 26 points and 10 assists, sinking eight of his 11 field goal attempts. It was his 10th double-double of the season.

Bam Adebayo secured a double-double of his own, adding 22 points with 10 rebounds and five assists. He went 7-of-12 from the hardwood. Caleb Martin sparked an impactful 13 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals on 3-of-7 shooting from 3-point range off the bench.

James Wiseman led the way for Detroit, tallying 22 points and 13 rebounds, his fourth double-double over his last six games. Cory Joseph finished with 16 points on 5-of-11 shooting; Killian Hayes posted 13 points and 11 assists, shooting 6-of-14 from the floor.

Rodney McGruder finished with 15 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two steals, knocking down five of his 13 shot attempts. Marvin Bagley tallied 14 points while Jaden Ivey added 11 points and five assists.

Kevin Love, who had to leave the game early after getting cut on the side of his head, finished with 12 points and eight rebounds in 24 minutes.

Miami’s offense struggled shooting from long-range to tip-off the contest, beginning 3-of-15 from 3-point range. But an ensuing trio of second-quarter triples from Lowry, Vincent and Martin put it ahead 49-38 with 3:34 left in the first half. The Heat held a five-point halftime advantage shooting 44.2 percent compared to Detroit’s 46.2 percent.

The Pistons pieced together a 24-12 run exiting halftime, leading by seven with 3:38 left in the quarter. Eugene Omoruyi’s buzzer-beating triple kept the advantage at seven heading into the final 12 minutes.

For the first seven minutes of the fourth quarter, Miami couldn’t generate enough offense to break through. Eventually, Butler’s baseline floater tied it at 96, which was only the beginning of its monumental fourth-quarter rally. Herro’s triple with 3:20 finally gave Miami the lead, followed by Butler’s turnaround and a pair of more Herro buckets, which sealed Detroit’s fate. Miami didn’t trail the rest of the game.

The Heat’s win paired with losses from the Brooklyn Nets and Atlanta Hawks helps their standing in the race out of the play-in with nine games to go. Miami is now one game back of the Nets for the No. 6 seed and three games ahead of the Hawks for the No. 7 seed.

Miami will have two games against the Knicks and one game against Brooklyn to further increase — or diminish — its odds of making the play-in. So this upcoming week will be the most important of the Heat’s season thus far.

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