Nets Narrowly Defeated By Pistons in Final Trip to “The Palace”

Mar 30, 2017; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Jeremy Lin (7) looks for an open man against Detroit Pistons guard Ish Smith (14) during the second quarter at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 30, 2017; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Jeremy Lin (7) looks for an open man against Detroit Pistons guard Ish Smith (14) during the second quarter at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

Final. 90. 64. 89. 147

The Brooklyn Nets were defeated by the Detroit Pistons at “The Palace,” 90-89. Sean Kilpatrick had an impressive game for Brooklyn.

Quincy Acy and Joe Harris were both sidelined for the Nets in this one. The Pistons came into this contest mostly healthy, aside from a lingering foot injury sustained by Reggie Bullock.

Neither team could seem to get the lid off the basket to begin the game, as not a point was scored in the first two minutes of action. This was in large part due an aggressive strategy from the Pistons to stop the red-hot Brook Lopez. They were quick to double team the seven-footer nearly every time he touched the ball inside of the key. Brooklyn turned to other scoring options, such as Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Jeremy Lin, to jump out to a 9-2 lead midway through the first quarter.

Caris LeVert, playing his first game back in Michigan since he was a Wolverine, was clearly determined to establish himself early on. He seemingly was getting all the touches he wanted early on, and had seven points in the opening minutes.

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Kenny Atkinson’s bench entering the game signaled one thing; turnovers. Silly mistakes on the offensive end resulted in Detroit making a ferocious comeback. Despite this, Brooklyn still led after the first quarter, 18-16.

The game failed to pick up in pace as the night droned on. It took until the nine-minute mark of the second quarter for both teams to surpass 20 points. Furthermore, both teams were shooting under 30 percent from the field at that point in the game.

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The Pistons took its first lead of the night off a floater from Marcus Morris. He stood out in what was otherwise a mediocre offensive performance from the Pistons in the first. Morris notched 10 points, along with six boards and a block, through two quarters of play.

Despite improved efficiency from Detroit, the Nets continued to remain competitive through the second quarter. However, Lopez continued to have an off night. Andre Drummond‘s stifling defense was clearly effecting the Stanford alum’s game, as he was 0-of-6 from the field with zero points in the first half.

After a very low scoring first half, the Nets led the Pistons, 39-35.

RHJ was very productive offensively through two-and-a-half quarters of play. He helped his squad maintain a steady lead by tacking on 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field at that point in the contest.

Lopez finally got his name on the scoreboard midway through the third after nailing a free throw to give his team a three-point lead.  He continued on to quickly knock down two jumpers out of the high post.

Both teams had an off night from behind the arc. As the fourth quarter approached, the Nets and Pistons were 7-of-31 from three-point range, combined. This abysmal mark for the Nets was only furthered as RHJ became increasingly aggressive and began jacking up a handful of long-range bombs.

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The third quarter was for the most part, a back-and-forth affair. Morris continued to impress for Detroit, securing a double-double in this quarter, and Spencer Dinwiddie provided a much-needed spark off the bench. Heading into the final quarter, Brooklyn led 63-59.

The Pistons, determined to fight their way back into the playoff race, were quick to retake the lead early in the fourth. With “Brook-Lin” off the court for the Nets, it became tough to find points. Then, a small run headed by Kilpatrick put Brooklyn in a decent position to come out on top. Atkinson decided to keep Kilpatrick on the court for a portion of crunch-time over subbing in Randy Foye.

As the final two minutes approached, the score was tied. Detroit, who was on a five-game losing streak heading into this contest, went to its hot hand in Morris down the stretch. The Nets, in turn, went to its franchise player, and he delivered. Lopez nailed his only two threes of the night in the final three minutes to give his squad the upper hand in the closing minutes.

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After an embarrassing defensive breakdown, Ish Smith hit a wide open three to put the Pistons up by one with under 30 seconds left. Brooklyn was given an opportunity to tie the game with four seconds left, but turned the ball over on the inbound pass. Ultimately, Brooklyn fell to the Pistons, 90-89.