The Skinny: The Nets’ regular starters started this one and looked rusty after having Monday night off. Brooklyn opened the game on a 4-of-14 shooting clip, which allowed the Pistons to take the early lead, but back-to-back dunks from Gerald Wallace put the Nets ahead. From there, the Nets went on a 16-2 run to close the opening frame leading by 11.
Andray Blatche scored eight points in less than four minutes to start the second quarter, allowing Brooklyn to maintain its double-digit lead. Will Bynum caught fire for Detroit, scoring 13 points in the quarter, to cut the deficit to seven. But Mirza Teletovic answered with back-to-back three-pointers, and the Nets led by 12 at the break.
The Nets’ starters returned to open the third quarter, and an early Joe Johnson three increased the lead to 18. Brook Lopez cleaned up on the glass with 10 points and five rebounds in the frame, keeping the Nets ahead by 17 after three.
Brooklyn’s reserves continued the team’s strong in play to open the fourth quarter. Things seemed in control until the Pistons went on an 11-0 run late to get within four. But the Nets held on for the win.
High Scorers: Bynum led all scorers with 23 points on 7-of-10 shooting. For the Nets, Lopez led the way with 20 points on 7-of-15 from the field and pulled down nine boards in less than two quarters of action.
Key Stats: The Pistons were just 1-of-13 from beyond the arc in this one, while the Nets were 8-of-24. The teams had a combined 48 turnovers.
Who Was Hot: Blatche and Kris Humphries finished a combined 11-of-15 for 26 points. Greg Monroe recorded a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Andre Drummond tallied 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting and had three blocks.
Who Was Not: Brandon Knight struggled from the outside, shooting 3-of-14 for seven points.
Fun Fact: Pistons’ head coach Lawrence Frank was the Nets’ head coach during the team’s last postseason appearance in 2007.
So the regular season is in the books, and it was definitely a successful first campaign in Brooklyn.
The Nets had five out of six winning months and set a franchise record with 23 road wins. They also finished 31-5 against sub-.500 teams, meaning they won the games they were supposed to win.
The win over Detroit marks the first time in the Nets’ 36-year franchise history that the team swept the season series against the Pistons. It’s also the first time the Nets have won a season series against the Pistons since 1994-1995 (3-1).
P.J. Carlesimo closed out the season on a 35-19 run since taking over for Avery Johnson after 28 games. That mark is the best in franchise history for the start of a coaching tenure.
For the most part, Wallace looked like his old self in this one, which he needed just in time for the playoffs. He’s not going be a big time scorer, but he brings so much to the table in the energy department, including the four steals he recorded in this one.
The rest of the regulars got a bit of a tune-up and will hopefully be ready come playoff time.
Brooklyn (49-33, tied for second-best record in franchise history) will open the postseason this weekend at Barclays Center against the Chicago Bulls, who clinched the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Jim Mancari is a Contributor to SNYNets.com. Follow him on Twitter @JMMancari.