NBA Game Summary - Miami at Detroit
(Thursday, March 27th)
Final Score: Detroit 85, Miami 69
Auburn Hills, MI (Sports Network) - Jason Maxiell and Arron Afflalo had 15 points and seven rebounds apiece as the Detroit Pistons pulled away down the stretch for an 85-69 win over the woeful Miami Heat as the Pistons clinched the Central Division title.
Chauncey Billups added 13 points and 11 assists for the Pistons, who picked up their fifth straight home win. Rasheed Wallace also scored 13 for Detroit, while Antonio McDyess added 11.
Blake Ahearn scored 15 to pace the Heat, losers of 13 of 15 in March. Chris Quinn contributed 11 points for Miami, while Earl Barron finished with 10.
The Heat controlled the game's opening 12 minutes, as Mark Blount scored all eight of his points in the frame to lead Miami to a 23-18 lead after the first quarter.
Miami led by as many as nine in the second quarter, but the Pistons reeled the lead back in and trailed just 45-43 at halftime after Billups found McDyess for a layup just seconds before the buzzer.
"We didn't get off to a good start like we should have," Afflalo said. "We should have attacked the post a little more, but we made some adjustments in the locker room and had a better second half."
Detroit scored the first four points of the second half to take the lead, but Barron drained a jumper to force a 49-49 tie just under four minutes in. A McDyess dunk started a string of six straight Detroit points, and the Pistons finished the quarter on a 17-6 run to take command.
The Heat were outscored 23-10 during the frame, and Detroit punctuated its domination of the session by scoring nine of the quarter's final 10 points to take a 66-55 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Miami made a charge in the early parts of the fourth quarter, pulling within 73-69 on Quinn's jumper with 4:56 to play. Those would be the final points of the night for the hapless Heat.
"We just didn't have enough firepower in the second half," said Heat coach Pat Riley. "We kept defending hard but we couldn't make a basket."
Billups responded with a three, then Afflalo followed with four straight points to start a 12-0 run to finish off the game, capped off by a three from Wallace and a layup from Walter Herrmann as the Pistons pulled away down the stretch.
"We executed down the stretch," said Pistons coach Flip Saunders. "Anytime you can hold a team to 24 points in the second half, you'll have opportunities to win."
Tayshaun Prince had eight points and eight boards for the Pistons...Detroit shot 47.1 percent from the field and held the Heat to 35.8 percent shooting and 2-of-15 from three-point range...Miami's only two wins in March have been over Milwaukee.
03/27 23:45:35 ET