Pistons coach analyzes team's 111-107 victory over the Heat. Rod Beard
Detroit — The Pistons got a big win on Thursday with a big game from Blake Griffin.
It’s far from a one-man show, though. In their second game, the Pistons got it done with a boost from their supporting cast and another monster game from Andre Drummond.
Griffin was good, with 16 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, but the Pistons got double-figure scoring from three other starters and eked out a 111-107 victory over the Miami Heat on Saturday night before an energized crowd at Little Caesars Arena.
The Pistons (25-26) won their third straight, and second since Griffin joined the lineup on Thursday.
Ish Smith had a season-high 25 points — including a critical 3-pointer from the corner with 14.1 seconds left — off a nice pass from Griffin — to give the Pistons a six-point cushion. Stanley Johnson, Anthony Tolliver and Langston Galloway had 13 points each.
Andre Drummond had 23 points, 20 rebounds four steals and four blocks. According to Basketball Reference, Drummond is the first player with at least 20 points, 20 rebounds, four steals and four blocks since Hakeem Olajuwon in 1989.
“It’s amazing to see all these guys step up and play so well,” said Griffin, who was 6-of-19 from the field. “Andre was unbelievable tonight. Ish, Langston (Galloway) — you can go down the line and probably name a big play or a big moment that everybody had. So, this was the true definition of a team win, to me.”
The Pistons had a 93-86 lead with 7:26 left but the Heat (29-24) used a 13-3 run, when Wayne Ellington score eight of his 11 points, to take a three-point lead.
Johnson scored on a drive, then added a three-point play, to give the Pistons the lead. After a jumper by Goran Dragic (33 points and six assists) tied it at 101, the Pistons scored the next seven points, with a jumper from Smith, an emphatic dunk by Drummond — off a pass from Griffin — and Griffin finished the spurt with a 3-pointer for a 108-101 lead, with 43 seconds remaining.
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Dragic answered with a 3-pointer and was fouled and after he completed the four-point play, he trimmed the margin to three, before Smith’s final jumper.
The Pistons put it together offensively in the final minutes, with the last two 3-pointers, just making the right plays at the right times.
“Blake hits a three; Ish hits a three. It’s to me, the karma of making the right play,” coach Stan Van Gundy said. “It’s a five-time All-Star going to the basket, who can try to muscle that in the basket and do that; he sees a guy wide open and makes a play — makes the right play — and you live with the result.”
Josh Richardson (19 points) scored seven straight Miami points early in the fourth quarter, after the Pistons started on an 8-0 run, with a pair of baskets from Drummond, with a jumper by Galloway and a highlight-reel dunk by Tolliver over two Heat players.
Smith had eight points in each of the first two quarters to get the Pistons going but the Heat surged behind Dragic and Kelly Olynyk (19 points), who combined to score 22 of the Heat’s 27 points in the third quarter.
“We just played really hard and so did they. They’re a really hard playing, really, really physical team,” Van Gundy said.
The Pistons continue their six-game home stand on Monday against the Portland Trail Blazers.