In what Rick Kamla (NBA TV Anchor) called “the most exciting Summer League game this year,” Detroit snatched a game away from the Miami Heat in the final seconds. In a thriller of a game, even for a regular season matchup, the Pistons came back from double digits off the tremendous play of second year center Andre Drummond.
Drummond set the Orlando Summer league record in rebounds on Thursday with 18, 12 of which were in the first half. Andre was a one man machine, disrupting any defense the Heat threw at him. He finished with 23 points, 18 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 blocks.
Detroit came out of the gate strong, taking the first quarter from Miami 18-16. Drummond posted 9 points and 7 boards in the first, the reason for Detroit’s slim advantage.
Korie Lucious, guard out of Iowa State, started in place of rookie Peyton Siva on Thursday, and it really impacted the Pistons play when he was on the court. It seemed that the ball was not shared as well, and the offense was not flowing smoothly when Lucious was the point.
Siva came in late in the first and started the second quarter. Detroit’s play increased dramatically. Miami had no answer for the Siva-Drummond pick and roll early on, but the Heat would answer with a run of their own. Behind the strong play of high flying forward D.J. Stephens and perimeter shooter Ian Clark, the Heat took a 10 point lead into the half 41-31.
Detroit stopped the bleeding in the third behind a strong quarter of play out of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. This was KCP’s second consecutive game where he found his shot. He attacked the basket extremely well in the third, finding himself at the line on five separate occasions. KCP finished with 15 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals against the Heat, he finished 8/10 from the free throw line as well.
The Pistons received a point in the third quarter as well, after outscoring the Heat 20-18 in the third. Behind the play of KCP, Siva, and Drummond, Detroit fund themselves only trailing by single digits headed into the final quarter of play.
Detroit and Miami traded the lead back and forth in the final minutes of the game in electrifying fashion. Siva and Drummond connected for more than one alley-oop, and KCP had key steals down the stretch. With 22.7 seconds remaining in the game, Detroit found themselves trailing 77-76. After drawing up a high screen and roll play between Drummond and Lucious, the Pistons had one last chance to win the game.
After the solid screen set from Drummond, Lucious got a good look at the basket with the floater, but it didn’t fall. Luckily, second round draft pick Tony Mitchell was there to clean up the mess with a rim shaking slam with 1.7 seconds remaining. The Pistons held on to the win after a missed three point attempt from Ian Clark at the buzzer.
The Pistons received 6 points after winning the game, as well as three quarters of play. This left them with a total of 15 points heading into Championship day. Detroit tied with Miami in points resulting in a matchup between the two teams tomorrow morning
Detroit faces off against the Heat yet again tomorrow at 8 A.M. on NBA TV, as the Pistons conclude their Summer League schedule.
- Khris Middleton and Slava Kravtsov sat out today, but are expected to participate in the Summer League finale tomorrow.
- Point guard Peyton Siva injured his left ankle during a crucial part of the game. He was seen hopping to the bench after the collision. Siva is unlikely to play tomorrow morning, leaving the point guard duties to Korie Lucious.
- GM Joe Dumars and the Pistons announced today that they have released 2012 second round draft pick Kim English after a poor Summer League performance. English is now an Unrestricted Free Agent and can be claimed off waivers by any team under the cap.
- Pistons also announced the signing of former NBA Finals MVP and Pistons great Chauncey Billups today. The deal is worth upwards of $5 million over the next two seasons. Billups will now have the opportunity to retire as a Piston like he has wanted all along.