4. Allen showed a ton of growth
The first time the Brooklyn Nets and Detroit Pistons played this season, Jarrett Allen had a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds, but the Nets lost the game in part because the Pistons creamed the Nets on the offensive glass, with Andre Drummond — Allen’s assignment — having nine by himself.
Allen did not have a career night against the Pistons Wednesday night, but it might have just been a career-defining one.
The second-year big man from Texas got a couple of early dunks as the Nets built up a quick lead, but just 4:18 into the game, he headed to the sideline with his second personal foul.
He played all of 17 seconds in the second quarter before picking up No. 3.
Allen got his fourth foul less than four minutes into the second half, but managed to stay on the floor for seven minutes in the period. Through three quarters, Allen had six points and four rebounds in 12 minutes.
And then he played the fourth quarter of his life.
Allen and Spencer Dinwiddie had the pick-and-roll game grooving down the stretch, with Allen getting three big baskets inside and helping create space for Dinwiddie to pour in 14 points in the quarter.
And in one stretch late in the game, Allen gave Drummond some of his own medicine, twice coming up with tough offensive boards to keep a marathon Brooklyn possession alive.
The Nets came back later to tie the game and force overtime, so Allen’s efforts were not entirely in vain. Jared Dudley missed an open 3-pointer above the break, but Joe Harris tracked down the rebound and got the ball to Caris LeVert above the break … who missed a 3.
Allen secured the rebound, got the offense reset and then Dinwiddie missed a 3. Allen again grabbed the miss eight seconds before Dudley missed a corner 3 and the Pistons were finally able to finish a defensive stop that lasted 53 seconds.
He fouled out the next trip down the floor, but stopped the Pistons when they were in a situation to drain most of the clock. Dinwiddie tied the game with a 3-pointer with 21 seconds left shortly thereafter.
Allen’s line on the night wasn’t overwhelming — 14 points with nine rebounds in 22 minutes.
But he kept his head despite the early foul trouble and the kept the frustration with that at bay, making a real contribution late in regulation.
It was definitely a performance that shows how far the kid — and he’s still just 20 years old — has come.