Ben Couch · BROOKLYNNETS.COM
By Ben Couch
BROOKLYN—Wednesday at Barclays Center, the Nets raced out to an early lead and beat the Pistons, 103-99. Brook Lopez led all scorers with 20 points, adding nine rebounds; Reggie Evans pulled down a team-high 11. Five Nets dished out at least three assists, led by Deron Williams' six.
The Nets, who have clinched the Eastern Conference's No. 4 seed, will open the playoffs this weekend against the Bulls in Brooklyn.
After Monday's 106-101 victory against the Wizards at Barclays Center, one in which the Nets rested seven players due to various injuries, interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo said he would treat this final game similar to a preseason matchup. That was confirmed this morning, when Carlesimo told reporters to expect the usual starting five (Deron, Joe, Gerald, Reggie and Brook) for 18-24 minutes.
The starters took to the assignment with aplomb, running offensive sets to fruition and spreading the ball around: each scored in the first quarter, and Brook Lopez was the only player with more than five attempts. Brooklyn's first unit also played active defense, lead by Gerald Wallace, whose two steals caused a third of the Pistons' six turnovers.
Carlesimo used a line change to open the second quarter, and backup center Andray Blatche immediately drove baseline for a dunk, providing the same scoring spark he's consistently offered all season. From there, the reserves kept feeding the hot hand, as Blatche outscored the Pistons 8-6 in the first four minutes of the period. The attack rounded out from there, with Keith Bogans notably breaking his "D and 3" mold to convert a nifty reverse layup.
Six minutes through, Carlesimo opted for a second-wave substitution, bringing Wallace back along with Tyshawn Taylor, MarShon Brooks and Mirza Teletovic. The group was able to maintain the advantage, with Teletovic sinking two of his four three-point attempts and scoring eight points. Brooks chipped in three assists.
The starting five returned to start the second half, and though they couldn't convert three opportunities on their opening possession, talent won out and the lead gradually grew toward a high of 21. With Reggie Evans at the line and 2:23 to go in the period, Carlesimo again swapped out four players. The rugged forward followed at the end of the third, and the reserves closed out the game.
Brooklyn Nets (49-33)
|G · Deron Williams||G · Joe Johnson||F · Gerald Wallace||F · Reggie Evans||C · Brook Lopez|
Detroit Pistons (29-53)
|G · Rodney Stuckey||G · Brandon Knight||F · Kyle Singler||F · Andre Drummond||C · Greg Monroe|
Jason Maxiell (detached retina) is OUT.
Jose Calderon (strained right triceps) is DAY-TO-DAY.
For more, view the Game Photo Gallery
|20 PTS, 9 REB, STL
7-15 FGs, 6-6 FTs
|On the playoffs:
"If you don't win that gold ball, then it wasn't successful. We're going to take it one game at a time, one series at a time and try to have fun with it."