Pistons 109, Nets 97

Joe Pantorno, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Another second-half meltdown from the Brooklyn Nets sealed their fifth straight loss on Sunday afternoon, 109-97, at the hands of the Detroit Pistons.
A second quarter that helped the Nets build a lead as large as 10 was quickly overshadowed as Brooklyn (3-10) was outscored 34-15 in the third. Twenty of those Pistons points came in the paint. Detroit's offense ranks second in the league averaging 50.3 points per game in the paint. On Saturday afternoon, the Pistons scored 56.
It was a guard however, Rodney Stuckey, who helped seal the Pistons win, scoring 17 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter as he scored from all parts of the floor.
A 15-4 run from the Pistons (5-8) to start the quarter wiped away a seven point Nets halftime lead as the dynamic play of guard Brandon Jennings, coupled with sloppy Nets play built even more Brooklyn frustration.
Jennings recorded a double-double, scoring 12 of his 14 points in the second half while adding 10 assists.
Nets guard Joe Johnson led all scorers with 34 points on 11-of-15 shooting. It is the first time this season he scored over 20. But support was hard to find for Brooklyn. The next leading scorer was forward Paul Pierce with 19. Center Andray Blatche was the only other Nets player in double figures with 10 points.
Pistons forward Greg Monroe and center Andre Drummond quickly showed that they were able to muscle their way to the basket. Monroe scored 18 with 10 rebounds and Drummond, who leads the NBA in field goal percentage, finished with nine on 4-of-6 shooting.
Five Pistons scored in double figures as a balanced offensive attack carried Detroit. In the third quarter, each of the nine players that appeared on the floor scored. Forwards Josh Smith and Kyle Singler added 13 and 11, respectively.
Brooklyn was able to shake off a poor shooting first quarter with the help of its bench. Seven straight points from guard/forward Alan Anderson to start the second quarter kept the Nets right with Detroit until their starters managed to take over.
Johnson scored 13 points in the second quarter, hitting all five of his attempts to help the Nets build as large as a 10-point lead. The Nets went from shooting 7-of-22 in the first quarter to 13-of-17 in the second.
NOTES: The Nets were without F Andrei Kirilenko (back spasms), C Brook Lopez (sprained left ankle), G Deron Williams (sprained left ankle) and G Jason Terry (bruised left knee). ... Pistons G Will Bynum and G Chauncey Billups are day-to-day did not play. ... Pistons C Andre Drummond leads the NBA by shooting 66.4 percent and ranks fourth with 12.3 rebounds per game. ... After scoring 23 points in Monday's loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, Nets G Shaun Livingston, starting for Williams, scored just three points in his next two games. ... The Pistons are averaging almost 50.3 points per game in the paint this season coming into Sunday, which was second in the NBA behind the Houston Rockets (50.4).

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