Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving lead Nets to tight win over woeful Pistons

The Nets’ protection was inconsistent and unimpressive. However that they had simply sufficient star energy and simply sufficient taking pictures to get away with it, and get a 130-123 win over woebegone Detroit.

Brooklyn scored its strategy to a harder-than-it-should have been victory earlier than 17,559 at Barclays Middle.

Kevin Durant poured in a game-high 41 factors with 11 rebounds, whereas Kyrie Irving — in his second house recreation of the season, and first profitable one — added 24 factors.

The Nets shot 55.3 p.c from the ground, and 15 of 28 from deep. And so they wanted each iota of that offense regardless of dealing with a sorry Pistons crew now tied for the worst document within the NBA.

The Nets (40-36) climbed inside 2 ½ video games of idle seventh-place Cleveland, and three ½ of each the fifth-place Bulls and sixth-place Raptors. They pulled a full recreation forward of the No. 9 Hornets.

After trailing by 12 factors within the second quarter and 60-49 with 3:32 left within the half, a 23-7 run that spanned intermission turned the momentum. And with the rating knotted at 108-all with 5 minutes remaining, Durant untied it by sparking a 7-0 run that proved decisive.

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Kevin Durant, who scored 41 factors, drives on Killian Hayes through the Nets’ 130-123 win over the Pistons.
N.Y. Publish: Charles Wenzelberg

“We have a blueprint, we know we want to be what our identity is,” mentioned Andre Drummond, who had 14 factors and 13 rebounds. “Obviously we’re a great offensive team, but if we can hang our hat defensively as well — which we are capable of doing — it’s gonna be tough for teams each and every night.”

It wasn’t robust sufficient the previous few nights.

After the Nets allowed 17 of 32 taking pictures from deep on Sunday towards Charlotte — together with 12 of 19 within the second half — they opened this recreation with related sieve-like perimeter protection.

After taking a fast 8-2 lead on a Durant 3-pointer, the Nets watched the Pistons (20-56) warmth up. Or they let Detroit get sizzling.

Isaiah Stewart had 10 factors on 4 of 4 taking pictures halfway by the primary quarter, together with a few 3-pointers. The Pistons middle got here into the evening simply 6 of 31 from behind the arc this season, and the Nets left him vast open. The second-year large artificial them pay — at the very least early on.

Kyrie Irving scored 24 points in the Nets' win over the Pistons.
Kyrie Irving scored 24 factors within the Nets’ win over the Pistons.
N.Y. Publish: Charles Wenzelberg

By the point Killian Hayes drilled a 25-foot step-back with 7:58 left within the half, Detroit led 53-41. The Nets had been permitting 62.5 p.c taking pictures and 9 of 13 from deep.

Steve Nash known as a timeout and settled his crew. The Nets slowly crawled their approach again into the sport, forcing the Pistons to overlook their final 4 3s of the half and reducing the deficit to 64-58 going into the break.

Brooklyn lastly put collectively a few stops and got here out of the locker room with a 14-3 run.

Irving discovered Bruce Brown for a 3 and 72-67 lead with 9:19 left within the third.

The remainder of the sport was tooth-and-nail.

Detroit retook the lead 101-99 on a Fred Jackson bucket, and a reverse by Cade Cunningham (34 factors) knotted it at 108-all with 5:09 to play. However that’s when the Nets ran off seven unanswered factors to lastly put some daylight between themselves and Detroit.

Durant hit a midrange pull-up, and adopted on the following journey downcourt with a pair of free throws. After a Cunningham miss, Seth Curry — who has been combating an ankle damage and was 0 of 4 from deep to that time — lastly broke by with an enormous 3-pointer.

It gave the Nets a seven-point lead with 4:01 to play, and so they held onto it.

“Do we have work, do we have things to work on defensively and offensively? Absolutely,” Drummond mentioned. “So it’s trying to build chemistry in such a little time with a big goal in front of us. We have a large goal in front of us. We all know what we’re capable of, we know what this can be if we do it, and we’re striving for it.

“So just going in with a sense of urgency each and every night and just trying to make the best of it. We’re not going to be perfect, everybody knows that. But if we play hard and give it give it our best, there’s no reason why we can’t do special things.”

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