Pistons 102, Heat 100, OT
MIAMI (AP)—Once again, the Detroit Pistons were at their best with the game on the line. This time they were lucky, too.
Helped by a disputed referee’s ruling after Richard Hamilton sank a tie-breaking 14-footer with 14 seconds left, the Pistons earned their fourth consecutive down-to-the-wire win Monday night, beating the Miami Heat 102-100 in overtime.
The Pistons have won four games in a row by a total of eight points, including two overtime victories.
“We found a way to grind it out,” said Corliss Williamson, who scored 17 points off the bench. “It seemed like this game was destined to come down to the last shot.”
After Hamilton put Detroit ahead, the Heat’s Udonis Haslem appeared to be fouled on the arm by Williamson going for a layup with 10 seconds left. Instead Miami was given possession out of bounds.
Three passes left the ball with Rafer Alston, who missed a desperation 27-footer.
“If the foul is called, we’re still playing,” Heat coach Stan Van Gundy said. “We made the plays to win.”
When Pistons coach Larry Brown was asked about the officiating, he said: “Please, I can’t. I can’t get into that. We won.”
The Heat may have again lost rookie guard Dwyane Wade, who sprained his left ankle under the Miami basket with 2:22 left in the fourth quarter and hobbled out of the game. X-rays were negative, and Wade’s status was day-to-day.
Wade, who missed 13 games with a sprained wrist before returning last week, finished with 17 points and six assists.
“You have to wonder what might have happened if Dwyane Wade hadn’t gotten hurt,” Brown said.
Tayshaun Prince scored a career-high 24 points for Detroit.
“Once I made some shots early, it kind of got the team going real good,” Prince said.
Chauncey Billups added 23 points. All-Star center Ben Wallace had just six points but made the game’s most spectacular play late in overtime, blocking a shot by Lamar Odom after Detroit turned the ball over under the Heat basket.
“Ben made a play that I’ve never seen in my life,” Brown said. “I told him I’ve been coaching a long time and I can’t ever remember any better play. Amazing.”
Billups sank an acrobatic layup to put Detroit ahead in overtime, then made a 20-footer for a 100-96 lead.
But the Pistons committed turnovers on their next three possessions. Odom scored for Miami, and Caron Butler sank a follow to tie the game with 34 seconds remaining.
Eddie Jones finished with 19 points for Miami. Odom had his 24th double-double with 18 points and 14 rebounds.
The Pistons have won 29 games in a row when they score 100 points, including eight this season. They improved to 3-0 against Miami this season.
Billups sank a 3-pointer, then was fouled on a 3-point try and made all three free throws to put Detroit up 90-88 late in regulation. Haslem sank two baskets for Miami, and Prince scored to make it 92-all.
Williamson twice sank baskets to put Detroit ahead in the final 2 1/2 minutes of regulation, but two free throws by Butler made the score 96-all with 16 seconds left. Billups missed a 3-point try at the buzzer, sending the game intoovertime.
The Heat were again without center Brian Grant, who has missed four games because of knee tendinitis. There are no plans to put Grant on the injured list, Van Gundy said. … The Pistons played host to the NBA All-Star Game 25 years ago Wednesday. … Detroit will try for a sweep of the season series with Miami at home April 2. … The Heat rank last in the league in assists and blocks per game. … Odom scored in double figures for the 23rdconsecutive game, tying his career high.