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Butler takes over late, Heat hold off Pistons 118-110 for 11th win in 14 games


AP Basketball Writer

MIAMI (AP) Jimmy Butler scored 15 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter, Bam Adebayo and Duncan Robinson each scored 18 and the Miami Heat topped the Detroit Pistons 118-110 on Tuesday night.

Terry Rozier scored 17 points, Caleb Martin had 15 points and Jaime Jaquez Jr. scored 11 for the Heat, who improved to 11-3 in their last 14 games.

Butler got into the lane for a score with 53 seconds left, then made a 3-pointer on the next possession to seal matters for the Heat. Butler now has at least one steal and one 3-pointer in 14 consecutive games, the longest current streak in the NBA and one game shy of tying Rafer Alston (2004) for the Heat record.

Cade Cunningham scored 23 for Detroit, which fell back into a tie with Washington for the NBA’s worst record at 9-52. Simone Fontecchio scored 22 for the Pistons, Jaden Ivey scored 16, Jalen Duren added 14 points and Isaiah Stewart scored 13.

Miami was again without Tyler Herro (foot) and Kevin Love (heel), and Josh Richardson (shoulder) remains out. Some help is on the way; the Heat agreed to terms Tuesday with veteran guard Patty Mills, with that deal likely to be finalized Wednesday.

Detroit plays nine of its next 10 games at home, including each of the next six - a stretch capped by back-to-back games against the Heat on March 15 and 17.

The teams hadn't met since opening night of the season, a 103-102 Miami win in a game where Cunningham had a straightaway 3-pointer bounce off the rim at the buzzer. And this one was almost just as much of a nail-biter for Miami.

It was 61-60 Miami at the half. The Heat led by 10 after the first quarter, but Detroit controlled much of the second quarter and the Pistons led by as many as four in the third - before Miami peeled off 15 consecutive points.

That spurt took only 2 1/2 minutes. Rozier made a pair of 3-pointers during the run, including the one that capped the burst and put Miami up 80-69 midway through the third.

Detroit was undeterred, getting within one possession - three points or less - seven times the rest of the way. But the Pistons never got the lead back; Robinson hit a 3-pointer, Miami's first of the fourth quarter in 10 tries, with 2:05 left for a 111-105 lead, and then Butler sealed it with five straight points in the final minute.


Pistons: Host Brooklyn on Thursday night.

Heat: Visit Dallas on Thursday night.



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