AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Dec. 15 (Ticker) --
The Detroit Pistons do not
worry about playing on consecutive nights when they have Zeljko
and Corliss Williamson
coming off the bench.
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Rebraca scored a season-high 21 points before fouling out and
Williamson added 17 as the Pistons improved to 6-1 in the second
game of back-to-back contests with a 101-91 triumph over the
New Jersey Nets.
The Pistons' fourth victory in a row snapped the Nets' five-game
chipped in 12 points off the bench for the Pistons,
whose reserves outscored New Jersey's, 58-29.
"I thought the difference tonight (was that) all our guys played
well," Pistons coach Rick Carlisle said. "The bench stepped up
and really did a job. Rebraca made a major impact scoring the
ball at the free-throw line and Corliss once again was very
consistent. I thought everybody played really hard."
"That's what our bench does," said Ben Wallace
, who had eight
points and nine rebounds. "They come into a game and make
things happen. They give us a chance to win every game."
contributed 16 points and Rip Hamilton
Detroit, which improved to 23-5 in its last 28 games against New
Jersey. The Pistons won three of four against the Eastern
Conference champions last season.
"It wasn't so much their starters, it wasn't Rip Hamilton
killing us, it wasn't Ben Wallace getting 20 rebounds," Nets
coach Byron Scott said. "Jon Barry had 12 points, Corliss and
Rebraca - they killed us."
Detroit trailed, 24-13, after one quarter but closed within
49-48 at halftime.
"Shaky start for us, obviously," Carlisle said. "They had us on
our heels early and we were able to hang in there and stay
within 11 at the end of the first quarter. That was a good sign
and then we fought our way back into the game."
"After the first quarter we never seemed to get the energy to
play at that same level again," Scott said. "It could be a
number of reasons - guys might be tired, I don't know."
The Pistons closed the third quarter with a 10-0 run to take a
76-66 advantage into the fourth.
"They scored 10 straight," said Kenyon Martin
, who had 13 points
and 11 rebounds for the Nets. "I think that was the difference
right there. We had our chance but we just didn't make shots."
Williamson gave the Pistons the lead for good, 67-66, on the
first of two free throws with 2:06 left in the third.
The Pistons improved to 10-2 at The Palace, while New Jersey
fell to 4-7 on the road.
"We got off to a bad start and still won the game," Hamilton
said. "That's the luxury of having a great bench."
paced New Jersey with 18 points. Jason Kidd
added 15 but made just 6-of-17 shots.
"It developed into a great start but (we) just couldn't keep it
up," Martin said. "I don't know what happened."
The Nets shot just 68 percent from the line (27-of-40), while
the Pistons connected on 84 percent (37-of-44). Rebraca made 11
of his 12 attempts.
"'Z' was awesome down there tonight," Barry said. "We really
got rolling offensively and anytime you can get a guy going in
the post it opens it up for everybody. 'Z' did a great job of
getting good position."
"I thought that both teams were being aggressive and physical,"
Scott said. "They made more free throws, there were a lot of
free throws in the game. Both teams were hitting each other