Summer League Recap: Pistons 80, Heat 78

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By Josh Cohen
July 8, 2014

ORLANDO -- It’s still early in the week at the 2014 Southwest Airlines Orlando Pro Summer League, but if we needed to start projecting the most outstanding performer of the tournament, it’s clearly Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

After scoring 30 and 26 in his first two games, Caldwell-Pope delivered his most sensational effort to this point on Tuesday when he registered 26 points and buried a game-winning 3-pointer with 6.6 seconds left to lift the Pistons to an 80-78 victory over the Heat. On Detroit’s prior possession, he sunk three free throws with 14.9 ticks left after getting fouled on a 3-point attempt.

It didn’t even seem likely that Caldwell-Pope would be playing in those clutch moments after he tweaked his ankle in the first half. But instead, last year’s eighth overall pick out of Georgia came out determined to preserve Detroit’s flawless Summer League record (3-0).

"I just think he's more confident," said teammate Peyton Siva. "He's not being hesitant and that's helping him out a lot."

Miami’s premier pair, Shabazz Napier and James Ennis, both struggled with their shots. They combined to go an abysmal 4-for-17 from the field and Ennis missed a pair of free throws on the possession prior to Caldwell-Pope’s critical trey.

Ian Miller contributed 16 points for Detroit, which will look to stay perfect when it takes on the Boston Celtics on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET. DeAndre Liggins added 14 points and five assists.

Tyler Honeycutt paced the Heat with 12 points and seven rebounds, while Eli Holman recorded 10 points and nine rebounds. Miami has Wednesday off before returning to action on Thursday against the Indiana Pacers at 3 p.m.