In two years with Miami, Terry Mills played just 51 games, and only one last season. Monday night, the Heat saw what they missed.
Mills had six 3-pointers one shy of his career high as the Detroit Pistons, winless in three games since the All-Star break, beat Miami 95-87.
"We knew he could shoot the 3," Alonzo Mourning said. "He didn't play with us because he was never in shape."
Mills, who has had the same doughboy shape since high school, didn't exactly disagree. He just used different terms.
Mourning scored 20 points for Miami despite having his nose broken before fouling out with 2:24 remaining. Jamal Mashburn added 14 for the Heat, who went 1-3 on their four-game road trip.
"I look at it this way: When we play them again, it's going to be an all-out war," Mourning said. "I guarantee it."
That would be April 12 at The Palace.
The Pistons, who had a five-point halftime lead, hit six 3-pointers three by Mills to take a 75-64 lead into the fourth quarter.
Mills' sixth 3 gave Detroit an 83-71 lead with 5:49 left in the fourth quarter, but three baskets by Mourning fueled a run that cut it to 86-79 with 3:07 remaining.
But the Heat scored just three points the rest of the way, a free throw by Voshon Lenard and a jumper by Mashburn with 11.2 seconds remaining.
Miami was forced to foul and the Pistons had five free throws plus a basket by Jerome Williams down the stretch.
"Terry was the savior tonight," Stackhouse said. "That's what I have been saying. We need to realize that we can't rely on anyone but the 12 guys in this room."
Mills sank a pair of 3s as the Pistons opened the second half with a 10-2 run for a 57-44 lead.
Another 3 by Mills put the Pistons up 60-46 with 6:40 left in the quarter, and a dunk by Stackhouse off an ally-oop pass from Mills gave the Pistons their biggest lead, 62-47 with 5:40 left in the third quarter.
Mourning's layup with 5:19 left in the quarter was the first field goal of the second half for Miami, which had five free throws to that point.
Hill, Stackhouse and Hunter accounted for all of Detroit's points in the second quarter.
With 3.0 seconds left in the half, Stackhouse whom the Heat tried to acquire last August slammed down an alley-oop pass from Hill to send the Pistons off with a 47-42 halftime lead.
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