(Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann)
The Miami HEAT fell 107-97 to the Detroit Pistons Tuesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. The loss snaps the HEAT's 10-game winning streak. Miami now heads on the road for a four-game road trip.
Impact Performance of the Night: LeBron James was the best player on the floor tonight, scoring 23 points, dishing out six assists and grabbing five rebounds. James hit jumpers and got to the rim, showing off all of his skills. It wasn’t in a winning effort, but James played well when asked to carry a large load. Down the stretch James kept finding HEAT shooters for open threes, they just couldn’t get any of the looks to fall.
The Deciding Run: The HEAT cut a huge deficit to just three points with a huge run in the fourth quarter, but they would get no closer. The Pistons went on an 11-3 run to close things out and defeat the HEAT. Detroit got a big three from Brandon Jennings to start things off and capped the run on an offensive putback by Andre Drummond.
Play of the Game: Brandon Jennings hit a huge three-pointer with 4:09 left that really hurt the HEAT. After closing the Detroit lead to just three, Miami needed stops to keep the run going. The HEAT played great defense on the possession, forcing the Pistons to put the ball in Jennings’ hands with time running out. Sure enough, Jennings was able to make the jumper from a few feet behind the line over an outstretched Norris Cole. There was nothing more that the HEAT could do. They played great defense and were outdone by great shotmaking.
Efficiency Rating: Offensive Efficiency: 98.9; Defensive Efficiency: 106.5
Trend to Watch: Michael Beasley has played well this season, but the last few weeks have been particularly interesting. While Beasley is going to take a lot of jumpers in the HEAT’s offense, he’s been more aggressive off the bounce and in turn gotten layups, dunks and trips to the free throw line. His continued development is important to watch going forward as he’ll ease the scoring burden that’s placed on LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Against Detroit, eight of Beasley’s 16 attempts came in the restricted area. Two more came in the paint and two were corner threes. These are hot spots that the HEAT want Beasley taking advantage of and he is doing so on a regular basis now. Miami’s offense is predicated on spacing the floor and Beasley was able to do that as a shooter from the wings, but he was also able to take advantage of the space with drives and cuts to the rim. This is not the Beasley we saw early in the season. If he keeps changing his game to fit Miami’s style of play, he’ll be an important piece throughout the season.
The Takeaway: Games like this happen. There were defensive lapses, but we’ve seen the HEAT correct those before. There were too many turnovers, but we’ve seen the HEAT correct those before. There were missed open jumpers, but the HEAT’s roster and history suggest that those same looks will fall if taken again. It was just one of those nights. There’s always disappointment when a long winning streak comes to a close, but it was going to happen at some point. Detroit played well and hit huge shots when they needed to down the stretch. Their big frontline played well and they were able to weather a run from the HEAT in the fourth that often causes opponents to crumble. The HEAT will move on and clean up the mistakes they made because that’s what they do. We’ve seen it before and we’ll see it again.
Notes: Chris Bosh finished with 14 points and six rebounds. Ray Allen added 12 points and four rebounds off the bench. Dwyane Wade and Greg Oden were inactive.