Nets Win 110-105 Nail Biter Against Pistons Minus Deron Williams At some point, the losing that the Brooklyn Nets have been exhibiting lately has to stop right? It's only fair. Going into tonight's game, the Nets were on a three-game slide, having lost to the likes of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Toronto Raptors and the Miami Heat. All three of these teams are aiming for superiority in the Eastern Conference. There's no shame in struggling against those teams, but when you're playing three players in excess of just under $300 million dollars, we would expect this team to win more often than not, right? Tonight's opponent, the Detroit Pistons, can force three overtimes with the New York Knicks (not a good thing at all) sporting a wonderful and respectable (5-22). For the Nets facing the Pistons didn't look good since Deron Williams and Brook Lopez would sit-out this evening both nursing a strained right calf and a lower back strain respectively. As it turned out, it didn't matter. The Nets beat the Pistons, like they were supposed to, albeit a nail-biting, 110-105 win snapping their three-game losing streak. The Nets improved to (11-15) on the season while the Pistons regressed to (5-23). Sorry Detroit, but who cares. The Nets jumped out to a comfortable lead in the first quarter striking early and often against the Pistons. In the first quarter alone, the Nets shot 60% from the field due to a consistent effort in moving the ball around the perimeter. Jarrett Jack, who started tonight in D-Wills place along with Joe Johnson and Kevin Garnett, each did their part in finding their teammates for 10 assists in the first quarter, which helped the Nets secure an early double digit lead heading into the second, up 28-18. That score alone gave me the impression that this could be a laugher for the Nets, but it wasn't. For some reason, losing teams have a lot of pride when they have nothing to play for other than the lottery and the Pistons struck back. Struck back meaning 33 points scored in the second and outscoring the Nets by eight points. In the final two minutes of the second, the Nets blew a nine-point lead. The wrath of D.J. Augustin, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Andre Drummond, who combined to score the last seven points of the second quarter, was just too much for the Nets to handle, as their lead shrunk to two, owning a 53-51 advantage over the Pistons heading into halftime. Up next was the most important half which decides the final outcome of every sporting event, and the Nets had their hands full against the lowly Pistons, down the stretch. To begin the fourth quarter, the Nets made it very clear that they wanted a smooth final 12 minutes and in the end almost blew it. They looked like the Knicks in some stretches, but eventually left the hardwood with a result the Knicks have a hard time securing these days. A win. Darrius Morris contributed a solid performance in limited minutes, finding Mason Plumlee on the break for an alley-oop, which erupted the sellout crowd of 17,732 in attendance, giving the Nets an 85-80 advantage with a little over 10 minutes left in the 4th. Then Teletovic finds the basket and Johnson finds Plumlee for an easy stuff right under the rim. Tight defense and a couple more plays later courtesy of Morris, Plumlee, and Teletovic have the Nets staring at a 15-point lead with 5:47 remaining in the final quarter. The Nets took control of the game with a little over six minutes left in the 4th, but Nets Head Coach Lionel Hollins prefers his players to be uncomfortable, having to deal with the situations that arise in a possession-to-possession game because that's what Hollins enjoys the most: competition. "I think if I were playing, I would prefer to be in a close game than in a blowout," Hollins said during his post-game press conference and his wish was granted by the Basketball Gods, without question. The sense of urgency with the game near its final moments signaled the Pistons as the comeback effort was in full effect. Mr. Pope, assisted by Brandon Jennings drained a three-point shot cutting the Nets lead to 12, 98-86 with 5:15 remaining in the 4th. Kennedy Meeks penetrated the paint for two of Detroit's 42 points inside, now down 10, 98-88 with 4:44 left. Mr. Pope drained another three, Drummond attacked the basket with ease and Meeks and Jennings came up successful when it mattered most to put the Pistons in a position for an upset, down four, 102-98 on a Jennings step-back jump-shot at the 1:19 minute mark. It gets worse in what follows because this is what scary movies are made of. Drummond had his way on the low-post as the Nets failed to confront the big-man with a physical defensive presence inside, which almost cost them the game when Jennings found Drummond for an easy two, as the Pistons trailed the Nets by two, 104-102 with 41.2 remaining till the final buzzer. The Pistons fouled without many other options sending Johnson to the line where he sunk both free-throws, putting the Nets up 106-102, 12.5 seconds left. Pope sinks yet another three bringing the Pistons to within one, 106-105 with 9.8 seconds remaining. Detroit fouls again sending Johnson to the line where he adds two more points to his 16-point effort and a couple seconds later Garnett ends the Pistons threat corralling a rebound and sinking a pair of his own when fouled. "It's what it is," said Hollins regarding the Nets having to work hard for tonight's win in his post-game press-conference. "It's what competition is all about," he continued. In the win, Jack starred for the Nets recording his first double-double of the year with 15 points and 10 assists complimented by Plumlee, who has excelled in Lopez's absence, posting his own double-double in 21 points and 12 rebounds. Brooklyn Nets guard Jarrett Jack "I thought that he did a great job of being poised and getting us in stuff," said Hollins regarding Jack's performance. "Tonight he knew that he was going to play a lot so he was really good." What's more important in the grand scheme of things for the Nets is the fact that they had six players score in double figures along with Jack and Plumlee, which included Garnett, Johnson, Teletovic and Bojan Bogdanovic who all scored, 10, 16, 13 and 14 respectively. They also shot 52.6% from the field. As for the other team, Pope had fun lighting it up from the perimeter with a team high 20 points while Drummond continues to develop into one of the better young big guys in the NBA with 18 points. "He's big, and he's strong," said Plumlee speaking on behalf of Drummond's presence in tonight's game. Fortunately for the Nets, Drummond's exploits weren't big enough to prevent the Pistons from dropping their fourth-straight game. In a game in which the Nets had to have they delivered. With trade rumors surrounding the centerpieces of this team's core, wins are their only option, losing is not. Trade Rumors Swirl Nets May Deal Williams to Sacramento Kings Maybe it's too late for the Nets roster to save themselves as management has talked with the Sacramento Kings in a potential block-buster trade that will relocate their 98 million-dollar man in Williams. If that's the case, tonight, the Nets exhibited a team that won without the services of that man. It is only one game, but a win is a win right?