It wasn’t pretty by any means.
Yet the Pistons overcame a 19-6 first quarter run and a 28% shooting percentage in the first half to defeat the Miami Heat 80-78 in game three of their five game haul in Orlando Pro Summer League play.
Down four with 15 seconds to play, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was fouled in his shooting motion from downtown. He’d make all three free throws to make it 78-77.
On the ensuing inbound, DeAndre Liggins nearly forced a steal before being called for a foul.
Miami’s James Ennis went to the free throw line after the hack, and missed both free throws. After a Justin Harper rebound, the Pistons called timeout with 12 seconds to play.
Out of an inbound in front of the Miami bench, KCP nailed a leaner from three to win it with 6.6 seconds to play.
Stone Cold Killer.
After starting the game with a 8-2 run the Pistons struggled in the first half to score points.
Detroit faced a 38-30 deficit heading into the second half, without their top two players. Peyton Siva, who sat out the second half with a tweaked hamstring, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who tweaked his ankle midway through the second quarter.
KCP would return in the third and help propel the Pistons offense back into the ballgame. His three pointer early in the quarter gave Detroit their first lead of the game. After starting off 1-6, KCP put the Pistons on his back in the fourth quarter, scoring 14 of his 26 points in the final frame.
Former Florida State guard Ian Miller impressed at point guard in place of the injured Peyton Siva. Miller’s offensive outburst started at the beginning of the second quarter, on a fade three near the far side corner on a dish from DeAndre Liggins. He’d then nail another corner two on the next Pistons possession.
Miller would end his 7-0 run on another assist from Liggins, who pushed the ball up the floor after a Heat turnover to find Miller for an open cut to the basket.
Miller finished with 16 points on an impressive 6/10 shooting performance. He really took advantage of his playing time — giving scouts across the league a good look at him. Miller also had 4 rebounds and 3 assists on the day.
While the Pistons didn’t get the offensive output they were looking for throughout the game, they did get some highlight reel plays from the offensive enigma known as Tony Mitchell.
Mitchell threw one down in the first quarter on an alley-oop pass from Peyton Siva at the free throw line.
Mitchell also had an emphatic dunk in the third quarter off a steal in the passing lane and breakaway to the hoop.
Overall, today’s game was the most active that Mitchell has been this summer. He finished with +13 rating, 8 points and 6 rebounds.
DeAndre Liggins quietly had a solid performance as the only offensive weapon at times for Detroit in the first half. Liggins finished with 14 points on 3/4 shooting from downtown and 5/6 from the charity stripe. He also added 5 assists.
The Pistons will take on the Celtics tomorrow night at 7 PM ET.