Detroit Pistons take advantage of shorthanded Miami Heat on Saturday, 120-100
By TIM REYNOLDS
AP Basketball Writer
MIAMI — The Detroit Pistons had their most dominant quarter in nearly two years. And last season’s NBA Finals trip for the Miami Heat suddenly seems long ago.
Jerami Grant scored 24 points, Derrick Rose had 23 off the bench and the Pistons — the team with the NBA’s worst record — came into Miami and beat the Heat 120-100 on Saturday night, sending the reigning Eastern Conference champions to a third consecutive loss.
The teams meet again Monday in Miami.
“I definitely think it was the most complete game we played so far,” Grant said.
Blake Griffin scored 15 for Detroit, which outscored Miami 38-19 in the third quarter. It was the biggest margin the Pistons outscored an opponent by in their last 331 quarters, going back to April 9, 2019.
Bam Adebayo scored 28 points for Miami, which got 22 from Duncan Robinson, 16 from KZ Okpala and 12 from Goran Dragic.
“We didn’t play to … the Miami Heat culture that we represent,” Adebayo said. “I feel like we’re letting not only us and our teammates down, but the staff, we’re letting this organization down, the fans down. We’re built on the culture. The culture is take a bunch of guys, counted out, overlooked, and you figure it out. Right now, we’re not doing it.”
Miami was without Jimmy Butler and Avery Bradley (both coronavirus-related), Tyler Herro (neck spasms) and Meyers Leonard (shoulder). The Heat got six players back — including Adebayo, Okpala and Dragic — from the NBA’s health and safety protocols list after satisfying quarantines mandated after contact tracing showed they may be exposed.
The Pistons got a reminder of the virus-dominated world postgame. Moments after going into the locker room for what should have been a few minutes of joy, they got told to go for an extra round of testing — so they came back out, went across the court into a far corner of the arena to get those done. The Heat also were tested postgame.