MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — The Miami Heat are playing their best basketball of the season at just the right time.READ MORE: Shortage Of Mental Health Professionals Making It Difficult For Parents To Book Appointments For Their Kids
Justise Winslow scored 16 points and Miami opened the second half on a 21-0 run on the way to an easy 108-74 win over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.
It was the biggest unanswered-point run and largest victory margin of the season for the Heat, who are trying to hang on in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Dion Waiters scored 14 points, Josh Richardson and Hassan Whiteside each scored 13 and Dwyane Wade had 11 for Miami.
Blake Griffin scored 13 points for Detroit, which got 11 from Wayne Ellington. The Pistons have now dropped consecutive games for the first time since Jan. 25 and 29 — and both were blowout losses, with this one on the heels of a 103-75 rout in Brooklyn on Wednesday.
Detroit missed its first 11 shots of the third quarter, eight of them from 3-point range. A 54-49 Miami lead at the half looked tenuous.
Before long, the outcome was obvious.
Bam Adebayo had seven points in the 21-0 run, Waiters and Kelly Olynyk each added five, and the game was obviously never going to be in doubt again.
Miami (32-35) is still No. 8 in the East, now two games ahead of No. 9 Orlando and two games back of No. 7 Detroit.
Andre Drummond fouled out with 6:30 left and finished with five points and nine rebounds — snapping his run of 19 consecutive double-doubles, which left him tied with Bob Lanier for the Pistons’ all-time record streak in that department.
It wasn’t Drummond’s night.
It wasn’t the Pistons’ night in any way. They shot 36 percent, got outrebounded 51-36 and were 8 for 37 from 3-point range. It went down as Detroit’s second-worst loss of the season, topped only by a 37-pointer at Indiana on Dec. 28.
There have been four instances of a team holding another to eight points or less in a quarter this season.READ MORE: FMU Construction Program Offers Students Chance To Build Success At Zero Cost
Miami is responsible for three of them.
Houston held Chicago to seven in the third quarter on Nov. 3 — and the rest of the list is all Heat. Miami held the Los Angeles Clippers to eight points in the fourth quarter on Dec. 8, and kept the Milwaukee Bucks to that many in the first quarter on Dec. 22.
Pistons: Detroit hadn’t lost a quarter by 25 points since Oct. 30, 2010. … Drummond was looking to join Kevin Love (53), Dwight Howard (separate streaks of 33 and 20), Griffin (27) and Russell Westbrook (23, earlier this season) as players in the last decade with 20 straight double-doubles.
Heat: Miami opened on an 8-0 run, its best to start a game this season. … It was Miami’s 600th sellout at AmericanAirlines Arena — the last 413 of those coming consecutively — and 900th home sellout overall. … The Heat celebrated Pride Night, and the national anthem before the game was performed by the South Florida Gay Men’s Chorus.
Wade had a first-quarter blocked shot against Detroit’s 7-foot-1 Thon Maker. It was the 879th block of Wade’s career, leaving him 14 shy of Michael Jordan’s all-time regular-season record for guards. When adding playoff games, Wade already has more blocks than any guard in history.
Detroit has trailed after the first quarter in each of its last five games, and the 12-point deficit after 12 minutes in this one matched the Pistons’ third-largest, after-one-quarter hole this season. They had rallied to win three of the first four in those cases — but didn’t come close in this one.
Pistons: Host the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday.
Heat: Host Milwaukee on Friday.MORE NEWS: Hate Ends Now: The Holocaust Cattle Car Experience
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)