June 04, 2020

Spencer Dinwiddie led all scorers with 28 points in win over the Detroit Pistons; Kyrie Irving played through the grief of Kobe Bryant’s death

On a somber night, the Brooklyn Nets played its first home game since the passing of Kobe Bryant, one of the NBA’s most prolific basketball players of all time. The Nets defeated the Detroit Pistons 125-115 and improved to 20-26 with their win, while the Pistons fell to 17-32 on the season with the loss.

How the Brooklyn Nets Won By The Numbers

• Both Brooklyn and Detroit shot .506 from the field; Brooklyn (43-of-85) and Detroit (42-of-83).
• The Nets led Pistons 70-68 at halftime last evening and led the Detroit Pistons 99-93 through three quarters. The 99 points marked the second-most Brooklyn has tallied through three quarters this season. The last time the Brooklyn Nets scored at least 99 points going into the fourth quarter was 104 points against the New Orleans Pelicans on November 4 against New Orleans.
• Behind the arc, Brooklyn and Detroit shot 38.5 percent. However, the Brooklyn Nets hit 15 of its 39 three-point attempts compared to the Detroit Pistons’ 10 of 26.
• The Nets also overpowered the Pistons at the free-throw line 24-of-30 versus 21-of-28.

Coach Speak: Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson on the key to keeping the winning momentum in the second half

“We got some stops,” Coach Kenny Atkinson told the media. “I thought we started the second half with a better defensive mentality. We stopped fouling them, that was key. I thought we put them on the line 17 times in the first half. We corrected that and then we rebounded a little better. I thought Jarrett Allen was big at the rim. Four blocks but I don’t know how many shots he altered. Really, really big. Obviously, Spencer (Dinwiddie) was outstanding, really had that aggressive downhill mentality that we love. Good team effort.”

The Brooklyn Nets’ Leading Scorers

Spencer Dinwiddie, who changed his jersey number from eight (8), a number worn by his childhood idol, Kobe Bryant, when he first entered the NBA, to number 26, led Brooklyn with a game-high 28 points in 29 minutes off the bench, along with three rebounds, and a game-high six assists. Taurean Prince recorded 22 points, seven rebounds, and four steals in 28 minutes; Kyrie Irving totaled 20 points, five rebounds, five assists, and two steals in 33 minutes; Caris LeVert added 11 points in 22 minutes off the bench; Jarrett Allen contributed 11 points, and; Garrett Temple chipped in 10 points.

Prior to the start of last night’s game against Detroit, the question was would Kyrie Irving play or not. On Sunday, once Irving learned of Kobe Bryant’s death, he was so overwhelmed with grief that he couldn’t play in the Nets’ game against the New York Knicks. But Irving indeed did return to the floor Wednesday evening.

“I’m not the only one that’s hurting,” Irving said. “I don’t wanna make this about me and our relationship because we all shared something really, really strong with him (Kobe Bryant), there’s a bond whether watching him or studying him. We all shared something.”

Did Coach Atkinson have to talk to Kyrie Irving to get him to play?

“I knew he was locked in yesterday at practice,” Atkinson responded. “It surprised the heck out of me. He was so locked in; you’d have to ask him. He was super competitive in practice yesterday. I thought we were going to have one of those days where you’re just going to understandably not going to get much from him. So, his preparation for the game, it was impressive, and he carried it over tonight. I didn’t see any moments of doubt or insecurity, or emotionally – really good with his teammates. My opinion is, I think it’s his haven. This is (a) comfort zone and his place where he feels comfortable. But I’m sure on his drive home tonight, when he is sitting at home alone, I think a lot of those feelings will come back. But this was good for him, playing this game.”

Detroit Pistons Scoring Leaders

Detroit Pistons guard Reggie Jackson scored a team-high 23 points, five assists, and three rebounds in 26 minutes off the bench; Derrick Rose posted 22 points, six rebounds, and five assists in 31 minutes; Christian Wood added 20 points, eight rebounds and two steals in 21 minutes off the bench; Markieff Morris tallied 15 points, four assists, and three rebounds in 32 minutes, also off the bench, and; Andre Drummond chipped in 12 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, two steals, and two blocks.

“They finished the quarter on a 19-5 run, going into the third quarter, and we allowed them to get momentum coming out and we were already down,” remarked Detroit Pistons forward Markieff Morris on what was lacking in Detroit’s game. “We gotta take care of that later in the game.”

Coach Speak: Dwane Casey on how disappointed he was with his starting unit

“I was very disappointed,” said Detroit Pistons head coach Dwane Casey. “….We have to figure out five or six or seven men that are going to come in and compete at a very high level. No matter what your contract says, we have to find it. Again, it was disappointing. Our rookie (Sekou Doumbouya) had seven minutes and was a minus-20. I don’t know how bad you have to play to get that many. We have to get that fire lit under him a little more because he’s lost that zest, that fire. We’ll get it back. He’s a young kid and we’ll get the fire back.”

What’s Next for the Detroit Pistons and the Brooklyn Nets?

The Detroit Pistons will return home to host last season’s NBA Champions, the Toronto Raptors, on Friday, January 31, 2020, at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets will also be in action on Friday, January 31, 2020, hosting the Chicago Bulls at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn at 7:30 p.m. ET.

 

 

Dinwiddie hits game-winning 3-pointer, and Nets crush Pistons’ hopes of getting a win on the road

Let’s set the scene. The Brooklyn Nets are at home at the Barclays Center. Spencer Dinwiddie knocks down a three-pointer to pull the Nets ahead by one point with 7.1 seconds left in overtime. And then after a timeout, Blake Griffin misses a 19-foot turnaround fadeaway shot at the 1.3-second mark that could have pulled the Detroit Pistons ahead. Nets guard Caris LeVert grabs the rebound, and the horn sounds to seal a Brooklyn Nets 120-119 win over the Pistons and pandemonium sets in. Well, pandemonium may be hyperbole, but it was close, as the last Nets win at home was on October 19, 2018, against the New York Knicks. Now, the Nets home record at the Barclays Center for the season is 2-1, and their record overall for this young season is 3-5, while the Pistons fell to 4-3 overall and 1-2 on the road with the loss.

The player of the game, Dinwiddie, scored a season-high 25 points (8-of-15 FG, 5-of-9 3FG, 4-of-4 FT) with four rebounds and four assists in 32 minutes off the bench. With 21 seconds left in the fourth stanza, Dinwiddie also tied the game (110-110) to send the game into overtime, scoring 17 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter and overtime period combined. Dinwiddie has now tallied 20-plus points twice this season. Ironically, his previous season-high 23-point performance came against the Pistons in the season opener at Detroit on October 17th, but the Nets lost 103-100.

But last night, a three-pointer nearly at the buzzer from Dinwiddie, a missed shot from Griffin and a rebound from LeVert sealed the win. 

The irony here is that the Detroit Pistons selected Dinwiddie with the 38th overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft. Dinwiddie spent two years with the Pistons going back and forth between the Pistons and its G-League Team the Grand Rapids Drive and in October 2016, the Pistons traded Dinwiddie to the Windy City Bulls, the Chicago Bulls developmental team. After all that development, the Brooklyn Nets acquired Dinwiddie on December 8, 2016. 

So, did Dinwiddie want to prove a point?

“At this point, no,” Dinwiddie said. “Players have changed. Coaching staff has changed. I was just able to hit a couple shots and help my team win. That’s about it.”

What was really important to Dinwiddie was ending the Nets losing streak.

“That was the thing that made this win really big for us – because of the losing streak,” Dinwiddie added. “Because of what we’re fighting for. We’re trying to be a good team and trying to change the tide of Nets teams of the past. You’ve got to learn how to get out of a rut quickly. They can string together and it can affect morale and all that other stuff.”

Now, before you start thinking that this article is all about the Spencer Dinwiddie Show, other Nets players made significant contributions as well.

Brooklyn Nets forward Joe Harris scored a season-high 23 points (8-of-14 FG, 4-of-7 3FG, 3-of-3 FT) with five rebounds in 41 minutes.

Harris commented on the magnitude of the Nets improving in clutch situations.

“Yeah, that’s huge for us in terms of the maturation of everyone,” Harris stated. “We’ve been in this experience a lot. A lot of close games last year, a lot of close games to start this season. For us to close one out – execute down the stretch – take care of the ball. Execute defensively. This is huge in terms of confidence for us and just a big morale boost whenever you get a win like this.”

LeVert, in addition to grabbing the rebound at the end of the game, also had a big night for the Nets, tallying 19 points with six rebounds, six assists, and two steals. LeVert gets the vote for “most-improved” Nets player this season, as he has averaged a team-leading 18.9 points per game through eight games this season. Ed Davis, a Nets pick-up this summer from the Portland Trail Blazers for his rebounding abilities, did not disappoint. Davis posted a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards (five offensive rebounds) in 18 minutes off the bench. Last night, Davis registered his second double-double off the bench this season through eight games.

Jarrett Allen, in his second season as an NBA player, contributed 14 points (6-of-8 FG) and nine rebounds in 22 minutes, while Jared Dudley, who is in his 11th year with the NBA and his first playing for the Nets, chipped in 11 points, six rebounds and three assists in 38 minutes.

A big win for Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson, as he can see the words and actions of the coaching staff are not falling on deaf ears.

“We were just resilient,” Atkinson told the media postgame. “We’re the resilient team. We fought through a lot of missed opportunities. I thought that we had a bunch of opportunities to close it out and we just kept fighting. The last defensive stop was kind of indicative of our toughness tonight. Caris (LeVert) comes up with the huge rebound at the end, Spencer (Dinwiddie) gets caught in the switch against one of the best players in the league and does a heck of a job. So that was kind of the picture I leave from this game. But they’re (Pistons) a heck of a team. I think that they’re an excellent team. It’s a really good win for us, especially in front of our home crowd. ”

Of course, Detroit Pistons head coach Dwane Casey was disappointed that his team did not get the W.

“You live by the sword and you die by the sword,” Casey said. “…the first few games were close and we were winning them and now we’re losing them. It’s on ourselves, myself, everybody in this locker room. It’s mental things, leave the strong side corner and they knock down a three, miscommunicate on switches and they knock down a three. This team, made us pay for every mental mistake we made. They’re a good 3-point shooting team, so we shouldn’t be surprised when we don’t execute our switches properly.”

Blake Griffin led the Detroit Pistons with the most points at 25 along with nine rebounds, four assists, and two steals.

Griffin told the assembled media that he, too, believes his team’s performance came down to mental mistakes and a collection of little things.

“Yeah, I think so,” Griffin said. “Little mistakes down the stretch, mostly defensively. Like I said earlier on those little things, they come back to bite you, and each game was decided by such a small margin that we got to be better.”

Griffin could have blamed the Pistons’ lack of focus on playing back-to-back games, as they had just played the Boston Celtics the night before in Boston. But, he didn’t.

And, yes, even though Griffin’s last shot to go-ahead for the win didn’t go in, he still relishes the opportunity to have the ball with the game on the line.

“I’ll gladly take that (shot) every single time – try to make the right play,” Griffin said after the game. “I don’t think forcing a shot is very good, but our play kind of got a little mangled. I just tried to get the ball up on the rim, early enough, and unfortunately, it didn’t go in.”

Although, a good deal of the focus was on Griffin because he had the most points of all Pistons’ players. However, truth be told, the real Pistons scoring-player of the game honors should go to Andre Drummond, who tallied 24 points, 23 rebounds, one assist, and one steal. Reggie Jackson added 21 points and four rebounds.

Next up, the Pistons play the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday, November 3, 2018, in Philadelphia.

The Nets play the Houston Rockets at home at the Barclays Center on Friday, November 2, 2018, at 7:30 p.m.

Tip-ins:

Ed Davis’ ninth rebound of the game was his 3,000th career rebound off the bench. He's one of just seven players since 1983-84 to grab 3,000+ boards off the bench, joining Detlef Schrempf, Thurl Bailey, Nick Collison, Chris Andersen, Chris Gatling, and Dennis Rodman.

Nets could not stop Pistons drive; Jarrett Allen, a scoring leader for Nets, and; Andre Drummond and Quincy Acy ejected from the game

Let’s just say the Brooklyn Nets didn’t have it last night, as they lost 108-96 to the Detroit Pistons at the Barclays Center. Or, perhaps, it was fatigue since the Nets were coming off of a 110-109 overtime win over the Miami Heat the night before. No matter how the Nets tried, they simply could not slow down Detroit Pistons led by guard Reggie Jackson, who topped all scorers with 29 points.

And, Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson as much as he hated to admit his team lost its mojo had no other choice but to face the fact that slowing down Detroit just wasn’t in the cards.

“We didn’t,” Atkinson told reporters regarding the Nets inability to slow down the Pistons. “I’ll just make it general. I thought we didn’t have it tonight. Whatever that it is, that energy, that juice, it wasn’t there. They were at a higher level than us in terms of their again, call it juice. Reggie Jackson, heck of a player and he played really well, made some tough shots.”

“Disappointed we gave him 13 free throws,” Atkinson continued. “That facilitates a 29-point game and that’s a point of emphasis for us, not putting teams on the free throw line. They won the free throw battle, 32 free throws to 15, that’s too much. That’s a big disparity. “

Atkinson did have love for his bench.

“I thought our bench group did a great job. You know Caris (LeVert), Nik Stauskas, Q (Quincy Acy), as long as he was in there. I thought those guys fought and our starters, like I said, I don’t think they had the necessary juice tonight. We’ve got to get in late, back-to-back, all that stuff. We have to be more resilient to get through a game like that.”

Not sure what Atkinson is referring to regarding his starters vs. the second unit. Four of the five starters scored in double digits, while only two players scored in double digits off the bench. Stauskas only scored three points, and Acy who only played five minutes before being ejected for fighting scored zero.

Meanwhile, Nets rookie center Jarrett Allen, one of the starting five, scored 15 points, six rebounds, and three blocked shots. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson tallied 14 points, eight rebounds, and three assists. D’Angelo Russell put up 13 points, seven assists, four rebounds, and one blocked shot, and DeMarre Carroll recorded 11 points, four rebounds, and three assists. On the other hand, bench scoring leaders Joe Harris added 15 points and five rebounds, and Caris LeVert chipped in 10 points and seven assists.

The fact of the matter is, this was another game where the Nets dug themselves into a 20-point hole and didn’t have whatever it would have taken to dig themselves out of it.

“We never stopped the bleeding,” Russell explained underscoring the team’s powerlessness to overcome a 20-point deficit in the third quarter. “I feel like we didn’t make that shot or get that stop that we needed to stop the bleeding or that 50/50 play however you want to put it.”

“The defense was good,” Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy said describing his team’s effort to keep the Nets from coming back in the fourth quarter. “Both teams were on fumes going down the stretch. We were just walking the ball up the floor. We had no pace, nothing. But we just grinded it out, so it was a good win.”

In addition to Jackson, Pistons' scoring leaders included starting forward Stanley Johnson who scored 17 points and four assists. Ish Smith came off the bench for the Pistons and scored 17 points, while other starters Andre Drummond added 13 points and 14 rebounds before being ejected for starting a fight with Nets’ Quincy Acy and Anthony Tolliver chipped in 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Next up for the Pistons, is a game on Wednesday, April 4, 2018, in Philadelphia against the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Nets will take on Philadelphia the night before on Tuesday, April 3, 2018, also in Philadelphia. The next home game for the Brooklyn Nets is also its last home game for the season, which will be held on Monday, April 9, 2018, at 7:30 p.m. at the Barclays Center.

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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