The Detroit Pistons gave the Miami Heat a run for their money—until the second quarter started, at least. In the end, the Heat would go on to trounce the Pistons, 110-88.
Detroit came out of the gate firing at will, scoring 31 points in the opening quarter and staking themselves to a one-point lead after the initial frame. Greg Monroe was the reason for such a hot start after scoring 13 points in the opening quarter.
Monroe would finish with a career night against the Heat (28-12), scoring 31 points and grabbing 12 boards in what was the only bright spot in Detroit's (16-27) losing effort.
Miami would fire back in the second and third quarters, outscoring the Pistons 54-37. It was those two frames and a 20-2 run near the end of the first half that really made the difference in this game.
Dwyane Wade was largely responsible for that second-quarter thrashing of the Pistons' defense.
Detroit didn't shoot all that bad from the field, finishing at 47 percent for the game, but it was the 18 turnovers that the Pistons coughed up that were devastating. It's hard enough to beat an elite team like Miami, but giving them extra possessions certainly doesn't make it any easier.
The Heat had three starters in double figures with Wade leading the way with 29 points, while LeBron James added another 23 to go with his seven rebounds and seven assists.
Monroe's monster game on the interior further shows that Miami is lacking a serious presence on the inside who is capable of stopping a force like Detroit's big man.
Player of the Game: Dwyane Wade
I would've loved to give this to Monroe, but the Pistons didn't win. Instead, Wade gets the nod.
Wade led all Heat scorers with 29 points, but he had a solid all-around game with five rebounds, seven assists, three steals and one block.
When things weren't looking so hot for Miami in the second quarter, Wade took over and carried the Heat to a 20-2 run that created space between these two teams the rest of the way.
What's Next for Miami
Miami has now won four games in a row and is on its way to finishing the month of January strong. However, the Heat's next two games will be a test as they go on the road to take on the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets.
What's Next for Detroit
After a rough loss to Miami, Detroit has a very winnable game coming up against the Orlando Magic on the road, followed by a game at home with the Milwaukee Bucks and another road game against the Indiana Pacers.