Basketball: Pistons blow out Heat in second half for first road victory

MIAMI (Reuters) – Jerami Grant, Blake Griffin, Mason Plumlee and Derrick Rose did all the scoring in two third-quarter bursts Saturday night (Jan 16) that allowed the Detroit Pistons to overcome a halftime deficit en route to a 120-100 victory over the host Miami Heat.

The teams will meet in a rematch, also at Miami, on Monday.

The Heat returned four key players from Covid protocol – Bam Adebayo, KZ Okpala, Goran Dragic and Kendrick Nunn – and they combined for 63 points. But it wasn’t enough to overpower Detroit’s four-man attack.

Miami led 56-52 at halftime before Detroit sprinted into the lead with a 16-5 burst to start the third quarter. Grant triggered the run with a pair of three-pointers and accounted for eight of the 16 points, while Griffin had five and Plumlee three.

The Heat hung within 71-68 at the 5:43 mark of the period before the Pistons flurried again. This time it was a game-breaking 16-2 run, with Rose chipping in with a 3-pointer and a three-point play, while Griffin added five points, Grant three and Plumlee two.

The spree opened an 87-70 lead, after which the Heat got no closer than 12.

Grant finished with a team-high 24 points and Rose 23 points off the bench for the Pistons, who hadn’t played since Wednesday after having a match-up with Washington postponed Friday due to Wizards’ coronavirus issues.

Griffin totaled 15 points and Plumlee nine, with Griffin also finding time for seven rebounds and eight assists.

Isaiah Stewart chipped in with 10 points and a season-high 11 rebounds for his first double-double, while Delon Wright had eight points and a game-high 10 assists for Detroit, which won on the road for the first time this season after four losses.

Adebayo led all scorers with 28 points to go with a team-high seven rebounds and six assists for the Heat, who lost their third straight.

Okpala returned with a career-high 16 points. Dragic had 12 to complement a team-high 10 assists, and Nunn had seven for Miami, which was still missing Avery Bradley and Udonis Haslem on Covid protocol, as well as injured Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro and Meyers Leonard.

Duncan Robinson had five 3-pointers and 22 points for Miami, which was outshot 50.5 percent to 47.8 overall and outscored 54-36 on 3-pointers.

Grant, Griffin, Rose and Wayne Ellington all connected on three three-pointers for Detroit.

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