Pistons falter in fourth quarter again in loss to Heat, 100-92

Rod Beard
The Detroit News

Detroit — The Pistons were down two starters and coming off an emotional loss to the Lakers on Sunday. In their first game after the two-game suspension for Isaiah Stewart, they bounced back with a good performance.

The problem is that it was only for the first three quarters.

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) and Detroit Pistons center Luka Garza (55) chase the loose ball during the second half.

The Pistons led by as many as 12 points and entered the fourth quarter with a nine-point lead. They couldn’t hold on in the final period, as the Miami Heat used a 33-16 fourth-quarter margin to take a 100-92 victory on Tuesday night at Little Caesars Arena.

Jerami Grant had 21 points and seven rebounds, Saddiq Bey 15 points and five rebounds and Frank Jackson 13 points for the Pistons (4-13), who begin a five-game road trip on Wednesday at Milwaukee before heading west to face the Clippers, Lakers, Trail Blazers and Suns.

BOX SCORE: Heat 100, Pistons 92

Just like Sunday’s loss to the Lakers, the Pistons couldn’t hold on in the fourth quarter, with Miami using a 27-6 spurt in the first eight-plus minutes to pull away. Tyler Herro (31 points and seven rebounds) had 13 points during the stretch, including three 3-pointers.

“We couldn't score. We just couldn't make a bucket. We tried to execute against the zone, and we didn't,” coach Dwane Casey said. “We got some people out of position, and I guess I didn't do a good enough job of getting them in our zone offense. Their bench outscored us, and (Tyler) Herro did a heck of a job, and we didn't get him under control either in the fourth quarter.”

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The Pistons were 2-of-14 from the field during that span and the Heat (12-6) were able to take advantage, hitting their shots and using their zone defense to force the Pistons into bad shots.

The Pistons had their biggest lead, 70-58, after a 9-2 run in the third quarter. Trey Lyles (six points and nine rebounds) hit a jumper, Jackson hit a pull-up jumper and Grant added a jumper at the 3:13 mark.

Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant is defended by Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) during the first half.

After a 3-pointer by Miami’s Caleb Martin, Lyles had a chance at a three-point play but missed the free throw. Herro banked in a jumper, but Hamidou Diallo (10 points) followed with a dunk.

The Heat finished the quarter with a free throw by Gabe Vincent and Jimmy Butler (15 points, nine rebounds and five assists) and another drive by Herro to get within seven, but Diallo finished with a lay-in with 0.2 seconds left that stretched the lead to nine.

The Heat ignited in the fourth quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers by Herro and a dunk by Martin, opening a 17-2 run over the next three-plus minutes.

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“They turned it up, just like the Lakers did in the fourth quarter, and that's where we've got to make sure we get tougher with the ball and have a stronger constitution when you drive in there,” Casey said.

“Everything you do has got to be a lot tougher down in the fourth quarter. That same play, the same shot you take in the first three quarters is a little bit different, against championship teams — and that's what we've got to learn to execute against, play against, or fight against.

“It's just the same picture as we had in the Lakers game. We played excellent basketball and we moved the ball. In the first half, we shot (well) from three, but then we made one in the second half.”

Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant (9) attempts a layup as Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) defends during the first half.

Dewayne Dedmon had a lay-in and Herro followed with a jumper and a 3-pointer and Dedmon added a dunk, pushing the Heat’s lead to 85-79 with 7:22 remaining.

Grant ended the run by hitting one of two free throws, but Miami kept the heat on with a 3-pointer by Lowry. After a floater by Jackson kept the Pistons within eight, the Heat put the game away with a 6-0 run, with baskets by Lowry, Herro and Butler.

“The last three games, the fourth quarter has been tough on us; we played well in the first three,” said Luka Garza, who had seven points, three rebounds and two assists in 17 minutes in his first career start, filling in for Stewart. “We have to keep playing the same basketball we play in the first three quarters.”

In the fourth quarter, the Heat shot 60% (12-of-20) from the field and 4-of-10 on 3-pointers, which fueled their big run. The Pistons struggled, going just 6-of-20 (30%) from the field and missed all seven of their 3-point attempts. The rebounding margin was just as lopsided, with a 16-5 margin for the Heat.

The problem is that it was only for the first three quarters.

The Pistons led by as many as 12 points and entered the fourth quarter with a nine-point lead. They couldn’t hold on in the final period, falling to the Miami Heat, 100-92, on Tuesday night at Little Caesars Arena.

Jerami Grant had 21 points and seven rebounds, Saddiq Bey 15 points and five rebounds and Frank Jackson 13 points for the Pistons (4-13), who begin a five-game road trip on Wednesday at Milwaukee before heading west to face the Clippers, Lakers, Trail Blazers and Suns.

Just like Sunday’s loss to the Lakers, the Pistons couldn’t hold on in the fourth quarter, with Miami using a 27-6 spurt in the first eight-plus minutes to pull away. Tyler Herro (31 points and seven rebounds) had 13 points during the stretch, including three 3-pointers.

The Pistons were 2-of-14 from the field during that span and the Heat (12-6) were able to take advantage, hitting their shots and forcing the Pistons into bad shots.

The Pistons had their biggest lead, 70-58, after a 9-2 run in the third quarter. Trey Lyles (six points and nine rebounds) hit a jumper, Jackson hit a pull-up jumper and Grant added a jumper at the 3:13 mark.

After a 3-pointer by Miami’s Caleb Martin, Lyles had a chance at a three-point play but missed the free throw. Herro banked in a jumper, but Hamidou Diallo (10 points) followed with a dunk.

The Heat finished the quarter with a free throw by Gabe Vincent and Jimmy Butler (15 points, nine rebounds and five assists) and another drive by Herro to get within seven, but Diallo finished with a lay-in with 0.2 seconds left that stretched the lead to nine.

The Heat ignited in the fourth quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers by Herro and a dunk by Martin, opening a 17-2 run over the next three-plus minutes.

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Dewayne Dedmon had a lay-in and Herro followed with a jumper and a 3-pointer and Dedmon added a dunk, pushing the Heat’s lead to 85-79 with 7:22 remaining.

Grant ended the run by hitting one of two free throws, but Miami kept the heat on with a 3-pointer by Lowry. After a floater by Jackson kept the Pistons within eight, the Heat put the game away with a 6-0 run, with baskets by Lowry, Herro and Butler.