MIAMI, United States, Jan 29 – Goran Dragic tallied eight of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and the Miami Heat extended their NBA win streak to seven games with a 116-103 win over the Detroit Pistons.
Wayne Ellington scored 19 points and James Johnson finished with 18 for the Heat, who have the longest active winning streak in the league.
“Our toughest, most physical, most committed minutes were in the fourth quarter. That was good to see,” said Miami coach Erik Spoelstra.
Miami improved to 18-30 on the season, giving them their longest winning streak since February 2014.
Dion Waiters scored 13 of his 17 points in the first quarter in front of a crowd of 19,600.
Detroit dropped to 21-26 on the season despite getting a team-high 24 points from Reggie Jackson.
Andre Drummond chipped in with 17 points and a game-high 20 rebounds.
Heat center Hassan Whiteside, who entered the game averaging 16.9 points and 13.9 rebounds, made his return from an ankle injury but was ineffective against the stifling defence of Drummond.
Whiteside was held to nine points and 12 rebounds.
The first quarter featured seven lead changes and ended with Miami leading 35-33 but they were never up by more than two points in the opening stanza.
Miami shot 57.9 percent from the floor in the second quarter and took a 64-60 advantage into halftime as there were four more lead changes and four ties in the second quarter.
The game remained tight in the third as the Pistons shot an impressive 72.2 percent from the field in the quarter.
The Pistons took a 91-90 lead into the final quarter but the Heat eventually rallied the troops to keep their streak alive.