Credit a feisty Pistons defense, because LeBron had trouble creating shots for himself over stretches. He manufactured a couple of field goals in the second quarter off a transition bucket and a putback, then didn't score a point in the third. Frustrated he wasn't getting calls, he boiled down his game to straight-line basket attacks down the stretch and ignited the Heat's big run.
With few opportunities early, Wade was a little cagey and launched a slew of unsuccessful 20-footers. But once the Heat fell behind by 10, Wade went to work. His double-pump reverse slam in the second quarter and his behind-the-back transition drive in the third were visual highlights. His turnaround J at the two-minute mark of the fourth was a pivotal bucket.
He put together another successful offensive game by hanging around the basket, fighting for deep position and rolling hard to the hole. That spin move that propelled him from the wing to the rim in the third was electric, perimeter-player stuff. But Bosh also had a few flubs, primarily his inability to keep Greg Monroe off the glass and prevent the rookie from getting good looks inside.
The stat line won't jump off the monitor, but Jones played meaningful minutes for the first time in a while and made major contributions. He was a key part of the Heat unit that ran off a 15-0 spurt to start the fourth, during which he hit a 3-pointer, stripped Rodney Stuckey and came down with some big boards.
After the Pistons controlled the game much of night, their second unit got decimated to start the fourth quarter, giving up 15 straight points. That crucial stretch aside, the Pistons have found some things that work. Their lanky guards can post and shoot over defenders, and their big men can run the floor. And how nice is it to see Rip Hamilton buzzing around screens like his old self?