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Auburn Hills — Pistons guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and coach Stan Van Gundy were equally dismissive of Phoenix Suns forward Markieff Morris' claim that the Pistons' second-year guard "had no heart," after the Suns beat the Pistons 88-86 Wednesday.

"That's his opinion. I know what I can do and how I carry myself, so that's his opinion. It is what it is," Caldwell-Pope said. "I didn't hear it but I heard about it. Just heat of the moment, saying stuff out of frustration I guess."

After the game, Morris said he wasn't concerned about the possibility of Caldwell-Pope making his third consecutive 3-pointer, which would've given the Pistons the win with a few seconds remaining.

"Caldwell-Pope got it and you know he doesn't have any heart, so we knew he was going to miss it," Morris said.

In his usual fashion, Van Gundy was a little more articulate in his dismissal of Morris' words, questioning Morris' credentials.

"Yeah, well. I don't know, guys can mouth off, I'm not sure maybe he knows what Markieff Morris has accomplished in the league that gets him to the point of mouthing off," Van Gundy said. "I don't like the mouthing off anyways. It seems like you should participate in a playoff game before you do.

"But maybe not, maybe that's not the standard anymore."

Shots fired.

Morris hasn't played in a playoff game yet for the Suns, in his fourth year since being drafted in 2011, two years before Caldwell-Pope entered the league. The two engaged in a war of words on the floor Wednesday, after Caldwell-Pope was called for an offensive foul driving to the basket against Morris.

The two had to be separated by teammates and officials before they squared off, with Caldwell-Pope yelling, "Do something!" to Morris while they were staring each other down.

"A lot of things were said before we got in each other's face," Caldwell-Pope said. "Throughout the game a lot of things were said. Once that happened, it escalated to that."

It was Caldwell-Pope's first real altercation, as he doesn't say much but plays with intensity and energy. Van Gundy was impressed by Caldwell-Pope's willingness to go toe-to-toe with Morris.

"I thought KCP was ready to go," Van Gundy said. "You like that. You like having to pull a guy away. If we walked away, referees, us included, KCP was ready to go. He wasn't backing down from anything."

vgoodwill@detroitnews.com

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