Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo totaled 22 points and eight rebounds in a win over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday in Miami. Photo by Rhona Wise/EPA-EFE
MIAMI, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- Cade Cunningham launched a 30-foot shot at the buzzer, clanking the go-ahead attempt off the back iron as a Detroit Pistons rally fell just short, resulting in a narrow loss to the Miami Heat on Wednesday in Miami.
The shot nearly spoiled opening night for the Heat, who unveiled their 2023 Eastern Conference title banner before the 103-102 victory at the Kaseya Center.
"I loved it," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said at his postgame news conference. "I loved the emotion tonight. I loved the energy. A lot of great things. A lot of great contributions."
Center Bam Adebayo, who blocked another Cunningham go-ahead attempt in the final seconds, scored a team-high 22 points. Star forward Jimmy Butler totaled 19 points and 13 rebounds for the Heat.
"That's how we like to play," Butler said. "We play close games. We've done that every year I've been here it seems. A win is a win."
Cunningham totaled a game-high 30 points. He also chipped in nine assists.
"Coach has been talking about resiliency," Cunningham said. "I feel like each individual on our team is naturally resilient. ... The way that our whole team competed, that's something we can build off of."
Cunningham and forward Isaiah Stewart scored nine and eight points, respectively, over the first 12 minutes to help the Pistons carry a 29-26 lead into the second quarter.
The Heat offense woke up over the next 12 minutes, paced by 10 points from forward Duncan Robinson, who came off the bench. The Heat opened the second with a 13-1 run and outshot the Pistons 61.1% to 31.8% in the quarter to take a 58-47 lead at halftime.
The Heat harnessed that momentum, using a 7-0 run to push their lead to 15 midway through the third quarter. The Pistons cut into that advantage to end the quarter, but still trailed 83-75 to start the fourth.
The Heat pushed the lead to 19 in the fourth, but the Pistons responded with a 14-0 run. That surge cut the deficit to five midway through the quarter. They added another 7-0 run to trim the lead to one point with 1:44 remaining.
Both teams failed to score on several possessions down the stretch. The game ended with a buzzer, clank and crowd roar, as Heat fans celebrated Cunningham's missed 3-pointer off the rim as time expired.
The Heat will face the Boston Celtics (1-0) at 7:30 p.m. EDT Friday in Boston. The Pistons will battle the Charlotte Hornets (1-0) at 7 p.m. Friday in Charlotte, N.C.