Heat Check: Chris Bosh the sole bright spot in loss to Pistons

As spectacular as Chris Bosh played Tuesday, it wasn’t enough to overcome the Miami Heat’s poor start in their 108-91 loss to the Detroit Pistons.

The game was essentially lost in the first quarter, when Detroit went on a 25-1 run in the final seven minutes after Hassan Whiteside went to the bench with two early fouls. Bosh struggled early with his shot, as did the rest of the team, and the Heat were unable to contain Pistons starting point guard D.J. Augustin on the perimeter or big men Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond inside.

With Whiteside not around to defend the basket, the Pistons attacked the rim freely and controlled the boards. Miami improved its offense over time but continued to trade baskets with Detroit throughout the game and were unable to make up lost ground.

Bosh had one of the more dominant quarters for a Heat player in recent history when he shot a perfect 9-9 and scored 21 points in the third quarter after shooting 5-13 in the first half. He tied a season high with 34 points.

Miami got very little production from its bench or the point guard trio of Shabazz Napier, Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole. Whiteside never got into a rhythm with his offense but still had his seventh double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds along with five blocks in 24 minutes.

The loss drops the Heat into a tie with the Hornets for the final two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. Detroit moved within 2 1/2 games behind Miami and Charlotte.

THE TURNING POINT

Heat vs. Pistons

The 25-1 run to end the first quarter dug a hole too great for Miami to dig out of. The team shot 23 percent from the field.

THE DIFFERENCE MAKER

Augustin torched the Heat, especially Napier, throughout the game with his first step and effective penetration. He scored 13 points in the third quarter and finished with 25 points and 13 assists without a single turnover.

STAT OF THE GAME

The Heat had their lowest scoring first quarter of the season with just 12.

WHAT’S NEXT

Miami will face the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday at 8 p.m.

You can follow Surya Fernandez on Twitter @SuryaHeatNBA or email him at SuryaFoxSports@gmail.com.