Thank God, It's Friday, Right?
For the Brooklyn Nets this is game No.75, as they host the Detroit Pistons, and this final regular season series between both teams favored the Nets for the first time all-season, The Nets defeated the Pistons, 116-104.
After failing to extend their winning streak to four straight game after taking a trip across the river to face their brothers from another borough in the New York Knicks, the Nets returned home looking to avenge that 110-81 loss. Determined to right their wrongs and protect their home-court, the Nets did exactly that plugging the Pistons, 116-104.
In winning, the Nets extended its franchise record of consecutive wins at home to 15 straight games.
This is a Pistons team that the Nets have struggled against all year in all three of their previous affairs, losing all three contests.
No motivation needed.
Timing is of the essence and with a playoff berth guaranteed in the Eastern Conference, the Nets will look to use these last few games as tune-up sessions to further enhance their overall play and performance as they envision a deep playoff run.
For all intended purposes, its game night and for those who missed tonight's action, this is what followed:
In the first half, following a 22 all conclusion of the first half, the Nets orchestrated a three-point barrage that gave them a comfortable advantage, achieving their highest point differential of 20 points.
Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, and reserves Marcus Thornton and Mirza Teletovic all connected from behind the arc shooting 70% from three point range, 7-10, over a plus 5 min stretch, which aided the Nets improving their overall lead to 51-31 with 5:12 remaining in the second quarter.
Basketball is a game of runs, and like any other NBA team that enjoys an early substantial lead, the Nets botched their lead within the second quarter surrendering a 14-6 run courtesy of the Pistons who cut the deficit to 12, as the Nets progressed into the intermission period ahead 57-45.
And now your second half.
The Nets picked up where they left off in the first half, resuming their offensive efficiency from the field translating it to the second half.
The Pistons made an attempt to close the gap coming to within 10 points on an Andre Drummond put-back lay-up, now trailing 61 to the Nets 71 with 5:36 remaining in the 3rd, but their inability to produce stops on the defensive end of the floor only gave the Nets the benefit of the doubt in maintaining their lead.
With 5:13 left in the third quarter, a Brandon Jennings turnover was retrieved by Williams who spearheaded a one man fast-break converting on the opposite end via a lay-up while absorbing a foul by Jennings.
A three-point play was rewarded as Williams sank his +1, and on the ensuing Nets possession, a Pistons turnover resulted in another three from "MT3" the nickname appointed to Teletovic by the Nets game announcer, draining his sixth three-pointer of the the night thus far, with both sequences extending the Nets lead to 17, 78-61 with 4:37 until the end of the 3rd quarter.
The Nets Public announcer addresses the crowd in attendance at every home game before the start of the 4th quarter advising the audience to help encourage the Nets to attain victory against all of their opponents, and in ending his address, commands the thousands in the stands to "Stand UP".
As the crowd stood, the Nets raised their efforts and gave the fans something to cheer about in the closing minutes of the final quarter.
The Pistons made their final attempt to bring drama to this game, slicing the deficit to single digits, down 9 points, 96-87 by a made free throw from Jonas Jerebko with 7:08 existing in the 4th quarter.
Despite the Pistons mission, it came to no avail as an alley-oop pass from reserve Andrei Kirilenko to Shaun Livingston converting with a one-arm slam while being fouled by Jerebko, gave livingston a shot at a three-point play which he completed, increasing the Nets back to double-digits, leading 99-87, 6:57 left in the 4th.
More of the same followed from Livingston who connected on a turn-around bank shot with a little over 5 min remaining and a lane driving dunk with emphasis by Paul Pierce with 1:29 left till the resolution spelled their fate in a positive fashion.
The player of the game is reserve Teletovic, better known as "MT3", who continued to display his exploits from behind the arc and his reliability, adding six threes of ten to the Nets cause, leading all bench scorers with 20 points.
Livingston led all Nets players with 23 points alongside Williams in the starting unit, showcasing his skills that warranted NBA recognition when he was selected 4th overall in the 2004 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers.
Immediately following the Nets win, Livingston shared his thoughts to media correspondents from the Nets locker-room regarding their performance at home.
"We've been playing well at this arena," says Livingston to media correspondents.
"I think it's a comfort zone and were just trying to build on the momentum that we have".
Like Livingston, Head Coach Jason Kidd also addressed his team's performance in his post-game press conference, which he commented on the success the Nets enjoyed from downtown.
"The one thing that leads to threes is everyone being unselfish," said Kidd to media correspondents.
"When you're unselfish like that, you get the looks that we're getting from behind the three," Kidd continued.
I'd say it's been a successful year for first year head coach Kidd, who's leading the same franchise that employed his services as a player and now as a coach to the playoffs in his initial head coaching gig.
The Nets stand motionless in seeding with the win, as they improve their overall regular season record to 41-34 currently cemented 5th in the eastern conference standings, looking up at the Chicago Bulls and ahead of the Washington Wizards.
Only seven games stand on the Nets schedule until the conclusion of their 2013-14 NBA campaign, embarking on a three-game road trip as they visit the likes of the Philadelphia 76ers tomorrow night, and back-to-back contest challenging the Miami Heat and the Orlando Magic respectively.
The Nets have their postseason berth but the season isn't over.
These last few games feature what's wrong with the Eastern Conference and albeit a soft schedule ahead with the one exception in the Miami Heat, the Nets can utilize these games in integrating injured players like Kevin Garnett back into their rotations and fine tuning their overall team production.
With May in sight, it seems like everything is OK in Brooklyn, for now.
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