In what seemed destined to be another disappointing ending for the Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit managed to gut out a much-needed home victory against an eastern conference foe, the Brooklyn Nets.
The Nets came out strong to start off the game, pushing an early lead up to 14-6 almost halfway through the first period. Detroit, behind the strong play of Greg Monroe (finished with 10 points and 4 boards after one), jolted Detroit back into the game. Brooklyn would take a one point advantage heading into the second quarter.
Behind 18 first half points courtesy of Andre Drummond, Detroit separated themselves from Brooklyn, demolishing them in every category throughout the second quarter. The Pistons outscored the Nets 38-20 to end the half on a positive note. Detroit would end up taking a 17 point lead to the locker room, 61-44.
The good vibes did not end there though, Hip-Hop artist “Flo Rida” put on a show for the Palace crowd (all of approximately 11,000) during the halftime break.
Now on to the second half, where Detroit would show the holes in their game. They held tight throughout the third quarter, eventually taking an 18 point lead to the fourth behind a 25 point third quarter. With lack luster performances by Joe Dumars’ big offseason additions, Brandon Jennings (8 points, 4 assists) and Josh Smith (10 points on 3/13 shooting), Detroit had to rely on their role players to pull out what turned into being a close game down the stretch.
Rodney (17 points) and Kyle Singler (16 points) helped hold off the Nets in the final moments, as Brooklyn rallied in the fourth quarter. Behind the strong contributions of Deron Williams (22 points, 9 assists) and Andray Blatche (20 points, 12 rebounds), the Nets managed to forge a run to pull themselves within three points with just over 90 second remaining in the ball game.
However their run would ultimately fall short as the Pistons, surprisingly managed to polish off the Nets at the charity stripe. Detroit pulled out the win by a final score of 103-99, leaving them with a record of (11-13) as they gear up for a back-to-back Sunday and Monday against the two best teams in the NBA (record wise), the Blazers and Pacers.
With the very real possibility of dropping the next two contests, it is nice to get a win now to help soften the blow.
Detroit is in action again this weekend, as they host the Portland Trailblazers on a “Motor City” Sunday at the Palace at 6:00 eastern time.