In the last game of the regular season, the Brooklyn Nets jumped out to a 20+ point lead and then hung on to defeat the Detroit Pistons 103-99 at Barclays Center. Brook Lopez led the Nets with 20 points and 9 rebounds while Andray Blatche had 15 points and 3 steals off the bench. Will Bynum had 23 points off the bench for Detroit.
The Nets were always up big in this game. The starters played every minute of the first quarter, and they played well. Brooklyn held an 11-point lead after one quarter, led by Brook Lopez. In the second quarter, the bench came in and continued playing well. Andray Blatche scored 8 points and Mirza Teletovic hit two 3′s. In the third, the starters came back into the game for about 9 minutes. Brook Lopez continued playing well, while Deron Williams made a couple of very nice passes. In the fourth quarter, the Nets’ bench seemed fine at first, but Detroit came back at the end of the game and cut the lead to as small as 4 points. Marshon Brooks was responsible for most of the comeback, but still, the Nets hung on to win.
More important than this game is that the Nets now know who they will be playing in the first round of the playoffs! With Atlanta’s loss in Manhattan tonight, the Chicago Bulls have clinched the 5-seed and will be coming to Brooklyn on either Saturday or Sunday for the Nets’ first playoff game in 6 years and Brooklyn’s first playoff game since the 1950′s.
For a box score of this game, click here.
Player grades and notes:
Reggie Evans: B
Reggie had his typical 11 rebounds in 24 minutes, to go along with 7 points on 3-6 shooting. He also picked up another technical foul tonight. Reggie needs to do better at keeping his emotions in check. He has had 4 techs in his last 3 games.
Gerald Wallace: B
At least there are signs of hope. Although Wallace still can’t make a perimeter shot to save his life, he did have 2 dunks tonight on fast breaks and he also had 4 steals. He was pesky on defense and forced problems for Detroit’s offense.
Brook Lopez: A
Lopez had an excellent game. In just 21 minutes, Brook scored 20 points to go along with 9 rebounds against two good rebounders in Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe. Lopez looks very healthy heading into the playoffs, which is great news for the Nets.
Deron Williams: B
Deron wasn’t spectacular tonight, but he made some good plays, controlled the offense, and found Brook Lopez for easy layups and dunks.
Joe Johnson: B+
Joe had a quiet 10 points, but he did have 2 very long 3′s. He also looks healthy heading into the playoffs and now has another 3 or 4 days off to recover to hopefully be 100% on Saturday or Sunday.
Andray Blatche: B+
Blatche had his typical game: lots of jaw dropping plays, both good and bad. I liked that he took less jumpers than usual tonight and worked on getting inside the paint, although he did have a 3 in the fourth quarter. He led the bench with 15 points.
Kris Humphries: B+
Hump had 11 points and 7 rebounds off the bench. Most of his points came on easy layups or dunks by great passes.
The Nets are heading to the playoffs! They will face the Chicago Bulls at home on either Saturday or Sunday in the first playoff game in Brooklyn in over 50 years. FRWD will have full coverage of the Nets’ playoff series.