October 17, 2019
Nikolai Jackson

Nikolai Jackson

Brook Lopez hit the buzzer beater over Pistons' Aron Baynes to lift the Nets to a 98-96 win over the Pistons

It was a night of firsts at the Barclays Center. It was my first basketball game, and it was Brook Lopez's first ever buzzer-beating game winner as the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Detroit Pistons 98-96. The game was competitive all throughout, as the Detroit Pistons are fighting for their playoff lives. Coming into the game the Pistons were tied for the 8th seed with the Miami Heat.

The Pistons played tough through the 1st quarter leading 31-22. Led by Long Island native Tobias Harris with 12 points in the first quarter, the Pistons dominated the points in the paint scoring 18 of their 31 points. Defensively, the Nets toughened up in the 2nd quarter and started hitting their shots, improving their free throw percentage from 29% to 40%. While keeping control of the ball, the Nets only had 3 turnovers and held the Pistons to only 13 points in the second quarter, matching the fewest points the Nets have allowed in any quarter this season. Nets rookie Caris LeVert led the team with 10 points by halftime and the Nets took the lead 50-44.

The third quarter was dominated by the Nets; Lopez scoring 8 points in the quarter, the Nets would take their biggest lead of the night. The fourth quarter, the Pistons started their comeback. Harris led the team in total points with 24 and Andre Drummond had himself a double-double with 13 points and team-high 17 rebounds. Drummond would leave the game in the 4th after suffering a knee injury. They scored 31 points in the 4th quarter. After Harris hit an 8 ft. jumper to tie the game up at 96-96 with 2.4 seconds left, Brook Lopez hit the buzzer beater over Pistons' Aron Baynes with a 10 ft. back-foot jumper to win the game for the Nets for their 14th victory of the season. It was the Nets 2nd buzzer-beating win this season. Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie had a career-high 8 rebounds as a starter tonight. Nets starting guard Jeremy Lin was out due to a sprained right ankle.

After the game, Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said about Lopez's shot, "Brook made a heck of a play. It was more of a catch and shoot but he took a dribble, knew how much time was left and made a heck of a shot. It's more about Brook being a heck of a player."

Brook Lopez said he was very confident in his final shot saying, "It felt good. We executed so well on that last play which is something that we've learned throughout the season to do."

Lopez has now scored 20+ points in each of the last 6 games.

Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said about Lopez's game winner "I thought the defense was pretty good on it... I didn't think Brooklyn got a great, clean look. He's 7'2" and he made a hell of a shot... I don't think there was anything more we could've done on it."
This loss for the Pistons hurt their playoff chances as the Miami Heat won against the Phoenix Suns. They fall a game behind the now 8th and final playoff spot now held by the Heat.

Stan Van Gundy said about the Pistons offense, "our ball movement is sporadic at best. Our offensive energy is not good."

The Pistons look to recapture that offensive spark when they play against the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday, March 22nd. The Bulls are just one game behind the Pistons who are also looking to make the playoffs.

The Nets are now 5-7 for the month of March, their best month this season.

Atkinson said after the game, "We're trying to improve on our habits. We have set things that we want to do and we've kind of set the groundwork on how we want to play and now it's just reinforcing those habits, doing it for a longer period of time."

The Nets will look to get their first 2nd straight win this season when they go up against the Phoenix Suns on Thursday, March 23rd.

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