Newly acquired center Ronny Turiaf, made his debut for the Miami Heat on Friday night against red hot Ben Gordon and the Detriot Pistons.
The Heat got off to fast start, smothering the Pistons on the defensive end and holding them to 34% shooting in the first half. Turiaf's presence was immediately felt, crashing the boards, playing the passing lanes and defending the interior with the kind of energy the Heat envisioned when signing him.
It was a solid team effort tonight, as the Heat got decent contribution from their bench and role players. Shane Battier and Udonis Haslem combined for 17 points and the Heat sported a 59-36 lead by halftime.
Pistons were able to rally back, once down by as many as 26 points, outscored Miami 21-13 in the 3rd quarter. Detroit would go on a 21-4 run and cut the the lead to 9 midway through the 4th quarter.
Dwyane Wade lead the way for the Heat down the stretch as they were able sustain their lead and close the door on the Pistons. Wade finished with a game high 24 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals on 10-19 shooting.
Although not known as a tremendous contributor in the box score, Turiaf has built a reputation for being a valued teammate, fixated on doing the intangibles and required "dirty work" for success. He finished with a productive 4 points, 4 rebounds and 1 steal in 11 minutes.
Lebron James shot just 6-15 but had a superb game on both ends of the floor as usual, tallying 17 points, 10 assists, 6 rebounds and 4 steals.
Chris Bosh was also solid tonight, finishing with 15 points and 9 rebounds.
Fresh off a season high 45 points and 9 made 3-pointers, Ben Gordon was unable to find his rhythm. As a result of Miami's tenacious defense, he finished with a pedestrian 10 points on 4-10 shooting with 6 turnovers.
The Miami Heat have now won 4 straight games and sit just 2 and a half games behind the Chicago Bulls.
The Heat will shift their attention to Sunday for a matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder, in what many people believe will be a preview of this years NBA finals.
- The Big 3 scored 34 points to the Pistons 36 in the first half
- Miami held Detriot to 38% shooting
- Pistons have now lost 5 of their last 6 games
- The Big 3 scored 56 points
- The Heat went on a 10-2 run to close out the game
- Miami won the battle on the glass 45-38
- Heat shot just 2-16 from 3-point range