LeBron made up for his careless fumble down the stretch with four clutch free throws, but he and the Heat shouldn't have let it get to that point in the first place. That behind-the-back inbounds pass he dished to Mike Miller underneath the rim was fit for an All-Star Game, but the stylish play had plenty of substance.
Bosh came out scorching, outscoring the Pistons over the first eight minutes of the game. He was scoring from everywhere: the corner, the free throw line, the rim, Section 132 at the Palace. Everywhere. But then the second half happened. Bosh disappeared after intermission, only to reappear in the last three minutes. Huge stop on Greg Monroe with less than a minute left.
Someone has to pick up Dwyane Wade's scoring, right? Chalmers did his best to bridge the scoring gap left by Wade and somehow raised his career-high field goal percentage along the way. Chalmers continues to pound the high-efficiency areas: the free throw line, the 3-point line and the basket area. Bosh and LeBron aren't the only ones who can shine in Wade's absence.
The Heat enjoyed a 10-point lead with about six minutes left and then watched it all go up in smoke as the Pistons came roaring back with 12 unanswered points. There's really no good reason the Heat couldn't run away with this one. The back-to-back excuse isn't justified against a short-handed Pistons team.
With Ben Gordon and Tayshaun Prince taking a seat, youngsters Brandon Knight, Greg Monroe and Austin Daye showed their fans what the future can hold. Daye broke out of a season-long slump from downtown (1-for-17 entering Wednesday) and hung 28 points off the bench. The Pistons have a lot to be happy about with this one.
-- Grades by Tom Haberstroh