Whiteside's buzzer-beating tip-in lifts Heat past Pistons


30 March, 2017

And he could not care less.

Hassan Whiteside scored on a tip-in just before the buzzer, giving the Miami Heat a 97-96 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night at The Palace.

"I got my dirty left hand on it and it went in", Whiteside said.

Whiteside sustained a cut to his right hand that required 13 stitches last week.

"It was a split second", Whiteside said.

But James Johnson is going to be a free agent this offseason and Detroit really ought to consider signing him, just so they don't have to play against him anymore.

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra paid center Hassan Whiteside a left-handed compliment. It felt like a playoff game because of how desperate the situation was.

So the Heat are now one game ahead of the Bulls for the No. 8 seed in the East.

That's when Whiteside won it for the Heat, allowing the Heat to tie the season series with the Pistons at 2-2, with the Heat now holding the playoff tiebreaker with Detroit by virtue of a superior Eastern Conference record.

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Miami had lost three of four coming in and needed this one - although perhaps not as badly as Detroit did.

With the knicks on the verge of missing the playoffs for the fourth straight season, the team has already begun to rest two of its starters, Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose. "It's strictly been my call all the way", Van Gundy said.

The Pistons nearly did just that.

Detroit led by four with 30.1 seconds remaining yet couldn't hold onto the lead.

James Harden missed a layup on the next possession before Green added a shot on the other end to put the Warriors up 107-99. The ball bounded off the rim and Whiteside went up and tapped it in for the win. While he's tried doing that since early December, when he returned following a platelet-rich plasma injection to treat tendinitis in his left knee, he just hasn't been the same player. "It was like a jump ball. That was big. He threw it up there and I shot-tipped it in". "Luckily [Whiteside] was there". Detroit lost its fifth straight and eighth in nine games (see full recap).

With 45 seconds left in a tie game, Caldwell-Pope hit a long jumper to give the Pistons a lead they nearly did not surrender.

"Detroit, they're a tough team". Kudos to them. They played hard.

"It's understandable", NY coach Jeff Hornacek said after his team shot 60 percent in the first half and did not allow a point for the first seven-plus minutes of the third quarter.

TV/radio: SUN; WAXY 790, WAQI 710. Obviously Dion brings something that is kind of irreplaceable as far as getting in the paint and all that, but we've proven we can win games with anybody in and anybody out of the lineup. Even with the month-long swoon begun in mid-December - largely aberrant, the product of opponent's shooting 45 percent from the 3-point line over a 15-game stretch - and the recent struggles as a response to overwhelming offensive frustration, the Pistons sit 11th in defensive rating. Neither player are listed as starters by the Knicks for Wednesday's game.

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