On Wednesday night, the Nets defeated the Detroit Pistons by a final score of 93-90.
The Skinny: Brooklyn started where they left off from Tuesday night, scoring only nine points in the first six minutes. The Pistons went on a 12-3 run to open a 10-point lead, as the Nets were ice cold from the field. Reggie Evans and Keith Bogans started picking up the offensive pace, as a 14-5 Nets’ run cut the Detroit lead to one after one.
Andray Blatche gave the Nets the lead to start the second quarter, but the Pistons followed with a 10-0 run to open a nine-point lead as Brooklyn went four minutes without a bucket. The Nets though began chipping into the lead with a 7-0 run to close the half. Joe Johnson was incredibly cold to start the game, but a three-pointer in the final minute of the half allowed the Nets to get within six at the break.
Brook Lopez began heating up to start the second half, but the teams traded buckets, which allowed the Pistons to maintain their lead. Another Johnson three got the Nets to within four, and a Gerald Wallace three a few possessions later put Brooklyn back on top. Greg Monroe then led the Pistons on a 9-0 run to go back up by eight points. A Bogans three closed the Nets’ deficit to four after three quarters.
The Nets started the fourth quarter on a 5-0 run to regain the lead, despite three-straight airballs from Mirza Teletovic. Eleven back-and-forth lead changes ensued before a Deron Williams jumper put the Nets up three. Jonas Jerebko hit on back-to-back field goals to get the Pistons within one with just under a minute remaining. Monroe hit on 1-of-2 free-throws, cutting the lead to one. Following a timeout, Lopez muscled his way into the paint for a bucket to put the Nets back up by three with 17 seconds to go. Monroe then converted on an easy bucket with 10.4 left. Johnson hit two clutch free-throws, and Will Bynum missed a long three to end the game.
High Scorers: Monroe led all scorers with 23 points on 10-of-16 from the field and grabbed 10 rebounds for the double-double. For the Nets, Lopez led the way with 17 points on 8-of-14 shooting and pulled down nine boards.
Key Stats: The Pistons were in the penalty at the 6:48 mark of the fourth quarter, and the Nets were 12-of-14 from the free-throw line in the final frame.
Who Was Hot: Evans had a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds. This was his 20th game this season with 10-plus rebounds. Wallace shot 4-of-7 from the field for 14 points. Kyle Singler shots lights out from the floor, hitting on 5-of-7 shots for 12 points. Bynum poured in 13 points and dished out seven assists off the bench for the Pistons.
Who Was Not: Charlie Villanueva was 1-of-8 for two points off the bench for Detroit. Williams and Johnson again struggled collectively, shooting a combined 9-of-25 from the field for 28 points. Williams accounted for six turnovers as well.
Fun Fact: Williams recorded his 5,000th career assist when he picked up the dime on a Wallace jumper in the first quarter. This was his 554th career game, making him just the seventh player since 1985-1986 to record 5,000 assists in fewer than 600 games. The other six are Muggsy Bogues, Tim Hardaway, Kevin Johnson, Jason Kidd, Chris Paul and John Stockton.
Jim MancariIt wasn’t pretty at all, but this will go down as a huge win for the Nets, who trailed by as many as 13 in the game.
Not only does it come the night after a heartbreaking loss to the Lakers, but the win also snaps a 10-game losing streak for the Nets in Detroit.
The second quarter seems to becoming the new third quarter for Brooklyn. The Nets were just 7-of-23 from the field for 17 points in the second and have now averaged just 16.7 points in their past three second quarters.
Luckily, the Nets played well at the end of each of the four quarters in this one to avoid what would have been a terrible loss.
All five Nets’ starters finished in double figures, but offense has been hard to come by recently. Brooklyn has only scored 100 points once in its last 11 games.
Lopez started the game 0-of-4 from the field, but he hit on eight of his next 10 shots to turn in another solid performance. However, Johnson and Williams really need to regain their rhythm from the outside.
The Nets improve to 18-1 against teams under .500 this season.
Brooklyn (29-20) heads to the nation’s capital Friday night to duel with Washington Wizards. The 7 p.m. game will be televised on the YES Network.
Jim Mancari is a Contributor to SNYNets.com. Follow him on Twitter @JMMancari.