July 14, 2020

Brooklyn Nets Fall to Detroit Pistons 105-100

Brooklyn Nets forward/center Andrea Bargnani (9) and center Brook Lopez (11) are defending against Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond (0) at Barclays Center. Brooklyn Nets forward/center Andrea Bargnani (9) and center Brook Lopez (11) are defending against Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond (0) at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson forces that kept the Nets in Abeyance

It’s Monday night, the first day of February and the Brooklyn Nets have just lost three consecutive games, including one home game. However, still fresh in the home crowd’s memory at the Barclays Center, is the Nets stunning upset win against the Oklahoma City Thunder, one of the best teams in the NBA.

The crowd at the Barclays Center was hopeful to the end, because overall, the Nets were playing fairly well. However, not well enough to overcome the forces of Andre Drummond, Reggie Jackson and the rest of the Detroit Pistons. It was close, but the Pistons still beat the Brooklyn Nets 105-100.

Brook Lopez, aka The Big Guy”, worked his game, scoring 27 points for the Nets in addition to his five rebounds, two assists, and one steal. Andrea Bargnani put up 18 points and four rebounds off the bench, while starting guard Wayne Ellington contributed 11 points.

The Nets led 57-54 at the half and was just three points (78-75) behind the Pistons at the end of the third quarter.

“We moved the ball, played at a high pace, got up and down, got a lot of shots for AB (Andrea Bargnani) in the mid-range, Markel (Brown) and Bogie (Bojan Bogdanovic) on the three,” said Nets backup point guard Shane Larkin on what the team did to get back into the game in the third and fourth quarter.

But the guys in Black and White couldn’t grab the momentum in the fourth stanza. Could it be that Nets interim head coach Tony Brown changed the game’s momentum when he pulled Larkin out of the game at 6:40 in the fourth with the Nets down by one (90-89)and put in Donald Sloan?

Larkin was making his presence felt; dishing out a career-high 14 assists (previous high: eight assists done five times). He also chipped in eight points and a team-high six rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench.

Larkin is in good company. The last five NBA players prior to Larkin to dish out 14-plus assists in a game in 23 or fewer minutes were: Russell Westbrook (3/4/14 vs. Philadelphia); Manu Ginobili (3/1/13 vs. Sacramento); Rod Strickland (4/23/95 for Portland vs. Golden State); Larry Drew (1/6/91 Los Angeles Lakers v. Golden State); and Muggsy Bogues (4/12/89 for Charlotte at New York). The dates indicate that 14-plus assists in 23 or fewer minutes by a player coming off the bench is no easy feat.

Drummond led the Pistons with 21 points and 18 rebounds and dropped the tie-breaking basket on a dunk with 1:30 remaining.

"I didn't do a great job with Drummond. He got some easy ones," Lopez said. "I tried to wrap him up at the end of the game, making him earn it at the line. But it was something that was a focus tonight."

Jackson, who almost got pulled from the game because of leg cramps by Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy, scored 19 points. As a matter of fact, all Pistons starters scored in double digits: Ersan Ilyasova (16); Kentavious Caldwell (16) and Marcus Morris (12).

Although the Pistons won, Coach Van Gundy was not happy with his team’s performance. Van Gundy can be heard in his own words here.

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