Miami was shorthanded with multiple starters on the sidelines, but it wouldn’t effect Miami’s hot start. Wayne Ellington got things started for Miami with a three, Josh Richardson and Rodney McGruder would follow up with buckets of their own giving Miami an 8-0 lead in the opening minutes. Despite a few Detroit buckets, the Heat would continue their offensive assault going a perfect 7-7 from the field and continuing their strong offensive play throughout the quarter. Detroit would go on their own offensive run and bring the game within four, but the quarter belonged to the Heat.
Miami continued their stellar play in the second quarter, delivering consistently from beyond the arc. This would allow them to take a 13 point lead just minutes into the quarter. Udonis Haslem saw some minutes and was effective while he played, setting strong picks and rolling well to the rim. The Heat moved the ball exceptionally well and as a result were able to find open men relatively well. Wayne Ellington was phenomenal, connecting on nearly every shot he took. It was great seeing Miami players who don’t generally get a lot of minutes (i.e Derrick Williams) step up and perform very well. Detroit was able to keep things close despite Miami’s phenomenal shooting. Miami would head into the second half up 8 having shot 65% from the field in the first half.
While less spectacular than in the 2nd, Miami was still effective offensively. Additionally, their defense was noticeably better causing multiple Detroit turnovers. With that being said, they weren’t without their own mistakes as they lost various possessions due to questionable decision making. Midway through the third quarter the Heat entered a scoring drought allowing Detroit to claw their way back and take the lead on an 11-0 scoring run. Miami would head into the fourth down four.
Miami struggled to start the fourth, they weren’t able to get shots to fall and without Whiteside were ineffective on the glass. The hot shooting from the first half had vanished and with nearly 7 minutes to go Miami was playing their worst basketball of the game. Derrick Williams would single handedly bring Miami back into the game with an 8 point scoring run of his own. Unfortunately Andre Drummond was on a tear without Whiteside to stop him, keeping Detroit ahead. The Heat would attempt another run, but never get out of their hole and as a result fall to the Pistons.