Pistons squeak out nail-biter over Heat to rise to 6th in East

Mar 29, 2015; Miami, FL, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Reggie Jackson (1) dribbles the ball as Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic (7) goes around center Andre Drummond (0) in the second half at American Airlines Arena. The Heat won 109-102. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 29, 2015; Miami, FL, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Reggie Jackson (1) dribbles the ball as Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic (7) goes around center Andre Drummond (0) in the second half at American Airlines Arena. The Heat won 109-102. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports /

The Pistons may have come out flatter in this one than any game all season. They were sloppy, committing turnovers on pretty much every other possession and they had no energy, getting beat on every rebound. Then the second quarter rolled around and they turned into the Warriors nailing three pointers over and over.

110. 93. 64. Final. 92

The only reason the Pistons won this game was white hot shooting from deep. The three ball, normally not a great friend to Detroit saved their bacon. Don’t count on it being a repeatable formula for success, they may not shoot that well again all year. But it’s nice to know it’s a possibility. Weirdly, this is Detroit’s second monster game from deep against the Heat–who are the league’s fourth best team at defending the arc.

PG. Pistons. REGGIE JACKSON. B. Reggie Jackson was sloppy with the ball early in the game. So were the rest of the Pistons, but that doesn’t excuse it. What does is the fact that he was the only guy on the team who could score.<p>Throughout the game, he looked to set up teammates. His low assist tally was partly because they were missing shots but largely because his passes were either off the mark or too obvious and easily defended. And he was lucky to get away with a blatant travel under the basket late in the game. However, the end of the third quarter and the beginning of the fourth showed how desperately the Pistons need his scoring threat when the subs aren’t all channeling Kyle Korver.</p>

C-. Caldwell-Pope hit a huuuuge three to put the Pistons up two late in the fourth. Otherwise, his game wasn’t that impressive. He put the ball on the floor well, but rarely made anything happen with that. And while he played fairly good defense on Wade outside of the first quarter, he also got repeatedly beat by crafty moves that it looked like he had never seen before.. SG. Pistons. KENTAVIOUS CALDWELL-POPE

SF. Pistons. MARCUS MORRIS. D. Marcus Morris should have clinched the game on an offensive rebound of Drummond’s missed free throw with one and a half seconds left. But Bosh shoved him out of bounds allowing Whiteside to get over the box out. And the refs declined to blow the whistle.<p>Morris had a passable final three quarters, but he was the greatest offender in the Pistons’ unacceptably sloppy opening. He also missed the most open three point attempt anyone had all game.</p>

ERSAN ILYASOVA. B+. Ilyasova was on the court for the worst stretches of the game from Detroit’s perspective, finishing -21. But he was hardly a main culprit. His four offensive rebounds in particular were a huge part of keeping the game from getting more out of hand than it did. His defense wasn’t anything to write home about but he was stellar at boxing out Bosh–who apparently did grab three rebounds, but who I can’t remember even getting particularly close to hardly any.. PF. Pistons

D+. Drummond got outplayed by Whiteside in virtually every facet of the game. That’s not all that shameful. Whiteside is one of the best centers in the league and he was on a bit of a roll. But Drummond has set the bar high enough that I expect better. He had an incredible dunk, though.<p>Incidentally, this was Drummond’s first game of the season in which he did not register a steal, which is insane. Don’t take for granted how huge it is that he gets so many of those. Drummond gambles a bit for some of them, including one in this game that he missed and led to a really easy Whiteside dunk. But Drummond is good enough at taking the ball away that it’s really worth the occasional miscue.</p>. C. Pistons. ANDRE DRUMMOND

Pistons. STANLEY JOHNSON. A. Stanley Johnson was the MVP of this game, mostly because he was the biggest contributor to the barrage of threes that turned the tide. But his best play was a line drive to the basket into the middle of a bunch of defenders in which he somehow found and kicked the ball out to Steve Blake directly behind his back for a straight on three pointer.<p>There were a couple gaffes. He lost his dribble on a drive right into the hands of Justise Winslow setting up a fast break dunk and he passed up a wide open three to drive into a very cluttered lane bust traveled before he got a chance to try to make something of it anyway. But the Pistons don’t win this game if Johnson doesn’t bend Miami’s D enough to reopen the middle.</p>. SF

F. Baynes was terrible. He provided nothing on defense and on offense, he attempted shots that didn’t have a prayer.. C. Pistons. ARON BAYNES

Pistons. ANTHONY TOLLIVER. A. Tolliver did everything the Pistons could ask of him. He hit his shots and grabbed a few rebounds. He was on the floor for the Pistons’ strongest stretches and finished +22. That’s not mostly on him, but he was a significant factor in it.. PF

A. Steve Blake hit threes the Pistons desperately needed. And unlike Tolliver and Johnson, he hit them both open and covered. He didn’t play much like a point guard, but this was his best game of the season that I’ve seen.. PG. Pistons. STEVE BLAKE

C-. As has become a disturbing trend, the Pistons again looked bad coming out of every timeout. The Heat missed some really good looks (making up for some bad calls they were bailed out by), bailing Detroit out, but Van Gundy needs to get some good offensive and defensive sets for timeout situations.. Head Coach. Pistons. STAN VAN GUNDY