Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) drives to the basket as Detroit Pistons small forward Josh Smith (6) defends during the second half at American Airlines Arena. (Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports)
MIAMI (DETROIT FREE PRESS) - Josh Smith dribbling up the floor and somehow the ball goes out-of-bounds.
There was Rodney Stuckey telegraphing a pass into traffic which led to a Heat fast-break basket.
The world champion Miami Heat left the door open for the Detroit Pistons to hang around, but they fumbled away multiple chances to give themselves a chance to win at Miami for the second time this season.
The Heat went on to a 102-96 victory tonight behind 30 points from Dwyane Wade, 24 points from LeBron James and 17 from Chris Bosh.
Smith, the pricey offseason free agent acquisition, was a woeful 5-for-20 from the field as the Pistons (19-28) wasted a second-half defensive effort that held the Heat to 39 points.
Smith finished with 12 points, six rebounds and six assists but committed six turnovers in a game where Andre Drummond had 12 points and 12 rebounds despite first half foul trouble.
Brandon Jennings led the Pistons with 26 points and Rodney Stuckey scored 20 off the bench. Greg Monroe had 17 points and 11 rebounds but once again was a fourth-quarter non-factor because he wasn't on the floor.
Somehow the Pistons were only down by six, 63-57, at halftime after shooting only 37.5% from the field and getting only 4 minutes from Drummond because of foul trouble.
But they were unusually good at the charity stripe by going 17-for-21 and nine Heat turnovers led to 17 points for the Pistons.
But the Heat shot 52.3% from the field and the big three of James, Wade and Bosh combined for 47 points in the first half.
Jennings and Monroe scored 14 each in the first half.
Contact Vince Ellis: email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @vincent_ellis56.