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Five Stars: OverHeated Pistons

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Late game heroics lifted the Heat to victory despite only gaining two of the five stars.

NBA: Miami Heat at Detroit Pistons Leon Halip-USA TODAY Sports

First Star

Goran Dragic (MIA) 21.7

The Dragon played 34:27 to lead Miami in floor time, and made it count with a game-high 28 points on nine-of-16 shooting. He only made one-of-four from outside, but sank nine-of-13 from the foul line, and it turned out that they all counted. He added four rebounds, four assists, and a blocked shot, finishing with an even plus-minus rating and a game-best 22.7 estimated PER. It was his 44th Five Stars game overall, and his 13th First Star performance.

Second Star

Tobias Harris (DET) 16.6

Harris came off the bench for Detroit, and played 29:38, ranking fifth on the team in minutes but tying for second on the team with 19 points. He shot seven-of-14 overall and matched that 50% success rate from both three-point (four-for-eight) and free throw (one-for-two) distance. He had six boards, two assists, two steals, and a game-high plus-11 rating, along with a 17.5 estimated PER.

Third Star

Ish Smith (DET) 16.0

Smith topped the Pistons with a 17.8 estimated PER, playing 31:05 as Detroit’s starting point guard. He made seven-of-13 from the field, missing his only three-pointers but making five-of-six from the line, with a plus-3 rating, a game-high six assists, three rebounds, and a plus-3 rating to go with his 19 points.

Fourth Star

Hassan Whiteside (MIA) 14.8

The Great Wall of Whiteside didn’t notch a double-double, but he did sink the game winner at the buzzer. His 16.5 estimated PER was the second of only three Heat players above the “NBA average” 15.0, along with Luke Babbitt (16.6 in just under 14 minutes). Whiteside played 30:03 and scored 17 points on seven-of-13 shooting, with a three-for-four success rate from the charity stripe. He had nine rebounds to fall just shy of his 52nd double-double of the season, and added an assist, a block, and a plus-5 rating in his team-leading 47th Five Stars appearance.

Fifth Star

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (DET) 13.7

KCP led Detroit with 25 points on nine-for-22 shooting, including an unfortunate (for the Pistons) two-for-10 clip from outside. He made five-of-six from the stripe in a game-high 37:06, with five rebounds and a minus-1 rating to go with his 13.5 estimated PER.

Five Stars Standings

The Great Wall of Whiteside 316
The Dragon 267
TJ 155
Hype Man 129
JJ 122

It’s a quick turnaround for the Heat as they’ll get after the New York Knicks in under 24 hours.