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Miami Heat Scramble To Hold Off Detroit Pistons 103-102 In Season Opener

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In the first game of their respective seasons, the Miami Heat defeated the Detroit Pistons 103-102 on Wednesday night behind 22 points from Bam Adebayo and 19 points and 13 rebounds from Jimmy Butler.

The Heat, who led by 19 points with 9:07 remaining, squandered nearly all of it and went scoreless in the final 2:57 thanks to 16 points from Tyler Herro, 15 from Duncan Robinson, and 13 points and 10 rebounds from Kevin Love.

For the Pistons, Cade Cunningham finished with 30 points and 9 assists. For Detroit, Isaiah Stewart finished with 14 points and 14 rebounds, Killian Hayes scored 10 points, and Jalen Duren finished with 17 points, 14 rebounds, four assists, and four blocks.

Early in the fourth quarter, Detroit was behind 19 points, but they rallied for a 14-0 run that took just 2:43 to cut the deficit to 94-89, the closest the Pistons had been to the lead since the middle of the second quarter.

After the margin was reduced to eight, Detroit simply rallied once more. After a turnover, Cunningham made a three-pointer to bring Detroit within 103-102. The Pistons had three chances to take the lead in the final sixty-four seconds.

All lost, and with it, one last chance. With 2.5 seconds remaining, Hayes inbounded the ball to Cunningham, whose well-defended 30-foot attempt failed as time ran out.

Miami has improved to 20-16 overall, 10-6 under Erik Spoelstra as coach. Detroit lost the first game under new Pistons coach Monty Williams, falling to 38–40 in openers.

The Heat had the most of the lead and ultimately needed it to win. At the half, Miami led by 30 points in the paint, 9 to 0 in fast-break points, and 21-3 in points off turnovers (it was 21-0 late in the half).

Additionally, the Heat’s lead at the half was merely 58-47. Because of Cunningham.

In the first two quarters, he shot 8 of 11 for 18 points, demonstrating his incredible skill. But in the first half, his teammates only made 10 of 30 shots, while Miami had a far more balanced lineup with three players scoring in double figures and five players with at least seven points by halftime.

Actor Sylvester Stallone and Miami Marlins 2023 batting champion Luis Arraez were among the sold-out audience. Two tributes were held: one during the game honoring veteran Heat season ticket holder Jimmy Buffett, the singer-songwriter who played for the Florida Keys for many years, and the other during the pregame for longtime Heat statistic crew leader Jim Cox. Sept. marked their deaths.

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