The Miami Heat picked up an important 97-96 win over the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
The game-winning basket came courtesy of Hassan Whiteside, as time expired on the clock. Miami nearly blew a fourth-quarter lead, and trailed until the tip-in by Whiteside. After a replay review, the basket became official and Miami sealed the crucial victory.
Detroit is one of several teams that is chasing Miami in the Eastern Conference standings. With this one, the Heat gave themselves a 2.5 game edge over the Pistons. Miami holds the eighth and final playoff spot in the conference, but remains in a precarious position.
The Heat are now 36-38 on the season, with eight games remaining. The Chicago Bulls currently sit in the ninth spot and are only one game back of the Heat. The two teams do not have a game remaining against one another in the regular season.
Goran Dragic had 28 points in the victory, to go along with four assists and four boards. Dragic had a block and rebounded from a lackluster line in Miami's previous game. The guard is battling a foot injury, but did not let that slow him down in this game.
Including his game-winning tip, Whiteside had 17 points and nine rebounds. The center just missed another double-double, but did an assist and a block as well in the win.
Miami's bench was also big in the win with 26 combined points. James Johnson led the reserves with 16 points of his won.
The Heat will play the second game of a back-to-back, when they travel to New York to take on the Knicks on Wednesday.