The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Drummond and Jennings lead way and Pistons hammer Nets 111-95

  • Print

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - The Detroit Pistons are still one of the worst fourth-quarter teams in the NBA.

Friday, they found a solution to the problem.

Detroit dominated Brooklyn for two-and-a-half quarters, building a 29-point lead, then held on for dear life as the Nets cut the lead to single digits in the waning moments.

Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks said after the game that he thinks his team has developed a mental block when it comes to holding leads down the stretch.

"You can get one of those," he said. "Fortunately, we had a huge lead tonight, but that is still something we really need to work on. I think we need to win a couple games in the fourth quarter and find some confidence."

Brooklyn trailed 96-63 heading into the fourth, but Detroit's offence stalled yet again. Jason Kidd didn't play his starters at all in the final period, but Jason Terry hit a pair of 3-pointers and Mason Plumlee got open for three dunks to get the Nets within 102-92 with 1:57 to go.

"We could not get a rebound or a stop, so I was trying to find guys who can play," Kidd said. "The guys who were out there playing continued to execute and we finally got some stops."

Rodney Stuckey hit a 17-foot baseline jumper on Detroit's next possession, then hit a pair of free throws to stave off a complete collapse.

"We were bleeding at that point, so we really needed those points," Cheeks said. "We stopped pushing the ball in the fourth, and they started making shots, so that made it even harder to run."

Brandon Jennings made a run at a rare quadruple double, and could have had a regular triple-double if he had managed a single second-half assist. He finished with 26 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and eight turnovers.

Andre Drummond added 16 points and 22 rebounds, even hitting two free throws with 36.5 seconds to go after missing his first six attempts. Josh Smith had with 23 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and four blocks before leaving the game with 4:39 to play. Cheeks said Smith twisted his ankle, but the team wasn't sure of the severity.

The Nets were resting Kevin Garnett, and the starting lineup struggled badly, combining for just 42 points. Terry led the team with 18, all in the second half, while Plumlee also got his 10 points after halftime.

Joe Johnson added 16 as the one bright spot among Brooklyn's starters.

"We knew what we had to do against them — rebound and get back in transition defence," Nets point guard Deron Williams said. "We just weren't ready to play tonight. Our energy wasn't there, our effort wasn't there and they seemed to have another gear than we did."

With Garnett on the bench, the Nets had no answer for Detroit inside. When the Pistons weren't feeding Drummond, Smith and Greg Monroe in the post, Stuckey and Jennings were driving to the basket with ease.

Brooklyn's struggles peaked early in the second quarter when Smith was swooping in for a fast-break dunk and Mirza Teletovic swiped at the ball, but caught Smith in the face.

Teletovic was given a flagrant foul, giving Smith two chances to make one free throw to complete the three-point play.

He made it on the second try and Detroit kept the ball because of the flagrant foul. Chauncey Billups, playing for the first time since Jan. 10, sent a behind-the-back pass to set up Drummond for an easy dunk and a five-point possession. That put the Pistons up by 20, and they were ahead 67-44 at the intermission.

The Nets, who were outshot 62 per cent to 31 per cent in the half, didn't get much better in the third quarter, with a series of turnovers leading to Detroit fast breaks.

At that point, the Pistons seemed in complete control, but that just isn't the way they play.

"Once a team cuts it to 20, that should get your attention," Billups said. "That's when you should kick back into a more focused gear."

NOTES: The Pistons announced before the game that reserve forward Josh Harrellson will be sidelined until after the All-Star break with a slight tear of his left meniscus. ... Kidd was the last NBA player to reach double figures in points, assists, rebounds and turnovers in the same game, doing it for Phoenix in 2000. ... Will Bynum did not play after getting into an argument with Cheeks during Detroit's last game. Cheeks said he simply wanted to get Billups back into the rotation.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Jim Flaherty remembered at visitation as irreplaceable

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • JOE.BRYKSA@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Local-(Standup photo)- Humming Around- A female ruby -throated hummingbird fly's through the bee bomb  flowers Friday at the Assiniboine Park English Garden- Nectar from flowers are their main source of food. Hummingbirds wings can beat as fast as 75x times second. Better get a glimpse of them soon the birds fly far south for the winter - from Mexico to South America- JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS- Sept 10, 2009
  • JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Local-(Standup photo)- A wood duck swims through the water with fall refections in Kildonan Park Thursday afternoon.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What Western Conference teams will emerge from the first round of the NHL playoffs?

View Results

Ads by Google