James Wiseman’s big second half not enough in Pistons’ 112-100 loss to Heat

Detroit News

Detroit — Pistons coach Dwane Casey praised James Wiseman’s athleticism and rebounding ability before Sunday’s game against the Miami Heat, lauding his ability to run the floor and deter shots.

“He’s athletic as heck,” Casey said. “He runs the floor and rebounds in his space. He knows how to use his length to deter shots around the rim. He has a good feeling with the ball…There are some things that seep out of his game every now and then that surprise you.”

Wiseman showcased several of those skills in the second half as he scored 18 of his team-high 22 points, but it wasn’t enough to hold off the Heat. Miami went on a 12-0 run in the fourth quarter, capped by Tyler Herro’s fading 3-pointer, to take a 10-point lead with 1:10 remaining. The Pistons couldn’t recover and ultimately suffered a 112-100 loss.

More:BOX SCORE: Heat 112, Pistons 100

Despite the loss, which dropped the Pistons to a league-worst 16-56, Wiseman played perhaps his most impressive game of the season. He showed his perimeter game, knocking down his lone 3-pointer in a pivotal moment during the third quarter. He crashed the boards, finishing with 13. He also defended well. At times, he looked like the best player on the floor.

Wiseman showed why Pistons general manager Troy Weaver shook up the roster at the trade deadline with his ability to bounce back from a tough first half, which he scored just four points.

With the win, Heat evened the season series after Detroit beat them in Miami, 116-96, on Dec. 6.

The Pistons will look to snap their three-game losing streak during a two-game road-trip that starts with Atlanta on Tuesday before ending at Toronto on Friday.

Cory Joseph added 16 points off the bench. Killian Hayes tallied a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Jimmy Butler led the Heat with 26 points and 10 rebounds. Bam Adebayo had 22 points and 10 rebounds.

Here are a few more observations from Sunday’s game:

Reliable Rodney: McGruder, who’s started the last seven games, is serving as a reliable scoring option for the Pistons as the season nears its end. He was one of six Pistons players in double scoring figures and he was able to make an impact despite a rough shooting night. He only connected on two of his eight 3-point attempts, but he converted on a few layups to make up for it and even finished a post move through contact over Kevin Love, who’s listed as 6-8. McGruder also grabbed nine rebounds on Sunday after totaling eight boards against the Denver Nuggets on Friday.

Wiseman’s third quarter: Wiseman has shown flashes of his upside since he was acquired by the Pistons at the trade deadline. He had an explosive third quarter against the Heat to give the Pistons momentum going into the fourth quarter. Wiseman scored 12 of his 22 points in the third quarter to  He’s an excellent lob threat and has shown the ability to connect from the perimeter, as he did on Sunday to give the Pistons a 56-55 lead midway through the third quarter. He led the charge in the Pistons comeback in the third quarter

Bagley’s return: Bagley returned to the Pistons lineup for the first time in three games after nursing an ankle injury. He was playing the best basketball of the season before the injury, and picked up where he left off early in the game. His first shot attempt was a corner 3, but he got his own rebound and drove inside and drew a foul for an opportunity at a 3-point play. He had a solid outing with 14 points and four rebounds.

Duren’s rough night: Both Duren and Love left the game late in the third quarter after a scary collision. Duren attempted a block and missed and their two heads collided. Love left the court covered in blood and Duren was escorted to the locker room. Duren was ruled out for the remainder of the game at the start of the fourth quarter. A team spokesperson said he was being assessed for a head injury. He finished with just two points and one rebound in nine minutes. Love returned to the Heat’s bench, but did not play. He totaled 12 points and right rebounds.


Twitter: @MikeACurtis2

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