Maybe one player does make a difference, it certainly did for the Miami Heat.
Tonight at American Airlines Arena in their last home game in January the Heat dished out a measure of vengeance against the Detroit Pistons, who took their first meeting of this season.
The biggest difference of the game was Dwyane Wade, who didn’t play in the first game due to a one-game suspension by the NBA. Wade made his presence known early and often in the game including one of his signature circus shots as he was fouled in the first quarter. LeBron James didn’t miss a step either as he also started the game hot.
Miami did let Detroit end the first half with a one point lead and let that lead grow to nine points in the second quarter, but the Heat soon took back the lead and never relented after. There was no bench scoring salvo from the Pistons unlike the last game. There was no Heat letdown unlike the last game. With Miami getting back to their stifling defense that made them NBA champions, the revenge was fast and hot. Even when Detroit made a late push in the fourth quarter it wasn’t enough to cool off Miami.
The game marked the Heat debut of Chris Andersen, who was signed to a ten-day contract. He came in late in the fourth quarter and showed some of the energy that earned him the nickname ‘Birdman.’
Two great moments happened also off the court in the game. One was when the Heat honored former players Eddie Jones and Brian Grant. The other was during the break between the third and fourth quarter as a fan made a halfcourt hook shot to win $75,000 dollars. Right afterwards that fan was tackled by James as they celebrated the shot.