Detroit nearly squandered a 21-point lead in the fourth quarter
but managed to end its three-game losing streak with a 103-99
victory on Friday night at The Palace. Forward Kyle Singler made two
free throws with 10.4 seconds left to clinch it.
"A couple of plays didn't work for us down the stretch, but we made
three or four stops," Pistons forward Josh Smith said. "It's just a
learning experience, just being able to learn how to close out games
when we have big leads. We're learning how to execute that much
harder and not get lackadaisical whenever we feel like we have the
Detroit's inside duo was primarily responsible for the big lead.
Center Andre Drummond had 22 points and 13 rebounds and power
forward Greg Monroe contributed 22 points and 11 rebounds.
The Pistons had a 60-38 advantage on points in the paint and limited
Brooklyn to three fast-break points but still had to sweat it out as
the Nets outscored them 29-12 in the final 11 minutes.
Guard Chauncey Billups cited a lack of movement offensively.
"It wasn't isolations that got us that lead. We were moving the ball
and moving around," he said. "You shouldn't change that. Just play
the same way. Sometimes it calls for that, trying to beat the clock
up, but not for a whole seven or eight minutes."
Guard Rodney Stuckey added 17 points and Singler chipped in 16 for
Nets power forward Kevin Garnett grabbed his 14,000th rebound during
the third quarter, becoming the 10th player in league history to
reach that milestone. He is only the third player to have 25,000
points, 14,000 rebounds and 5,000 assists, joining Kareem
Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone.
Guard Deron Williams led Brooklyn with 22 points and nine assists,
and forward Andray Blatche had 20 points and 12 rebounds for the
Nets (8-15), who had their three-game winning streak snapped.
Reserve forward Mirza Teletovic scored 17 points, all in the second
"I told those guys after the game I was proud of them for fighting,"
Brooklyn coach Jason Kidd said. "The one thing we have grown from is
giving up a big quarter. Those guys fought and gave ourselves a
chance to win on a back-to-back."
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Brooklyn played without center Brook Lopez, who sprained his left
ankle during its 102-93 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on
Thursday. Lopez also missed the first meeting between the clubs, a
109-97 Detroit win at Brooklyn's Barclay Center on Nov. 24.
Lopez's absence was felt on the interior.
"I think the offensive glass really hurt us," Brooklyn guard Joe
Johnson said. "I don't know how many points they had in the
point, but they pretty much dominated us in the paint."
Brooklyn, which trailed by 17 at the break, hit four 3-pointers
in the third but couldn't get the deficit below 12. The Nets
made more headway early in the fourth, using a 13-1 run behind
two Teletovic 3-pointers to cut Detroit's lead to 92-83.
The Nets whittled it down to five before Monroe made a jump hook
to give Detroit a 100-93 lead. But Williams then hit three free
throws with 51 seconds remaining after getting fouled on a
A 3-pointer by Brooklyn forward Paul Pierce made it 101-99 with
11.1 seconds left before Singler answered with two free throws.
Drummond and Stuckey combined for 30 second-quarter points as
the Pistons outscored the Nets 38-20 and rolled to a 61-44
"They have a lot of veterans on their team and we have a lot of
young guys on our team, so you try to run with the ball,"
Drummond said. "As soon as you pass it in, try to be quick with
it and get a quick basket."
NOTES: Pistons 10-year F Josh Smith was playing in his 700th
career game. ... Nets SF Paul Pierce has come off the bench for
three consecutive games, doubling his career total in 1,120
games. ... Brooklyn C Brook Lopez has missed 77 games because of
injury in the last three seasons after not missing a game in his
first three seasons. ... Detroit C Andre Drummond made his 100th
career steal during the first half. ... Nets F Andray Blatche
was whistled for a Flagrant One foul in the second quarter after
whacking Drummond across the face. ... Detroit PG Will Bynum was
inactive for the ninth straight game with a left abductor
strain. ... The Nets had won their last two games at The Palace
after dropping 15 of 17.
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