Grant fires in career-high 32, Pistons flash 'potential' in skid-ending win over Nets
Detroit — If only the Pistons could play one of the star-studded teams every night on the schedule, this season might look a lot different.
The Pistons’ wins have come over some good teams: Celtics, Suns, Heat, Sixers, Lakers.
Add the Brooklyn Nets to the list.
The Pistons entered with the league’s worst record, at 5-18, but they again played like they’re one of the titans, taking down the Brooklyn Nets, 122-111, on Tuesday night at Little Caesars Arena. The win ended the Pistons' four-game losing streak.
Jerami Grant tied his career high with 32 points and added five rebounds and four assists, Delon Wright added 22 points and nine assists and Mason Plumlee flirted with a triple-double with 14 points, 12 rebounds, and seven assists.
The Nets (14-11) were without Kevin Durant, who remains in health and safety protocols after contact tracing last week, but with Kyrie Irving and James Harden, the Nets still have been formidable this season.
The Pistons were up to the task, though, taking a page out of the intensity they had against the Lakers in their last home game, a win over LeBron James and the Lakers.
“We saw in that Lakers game that when we bring that energy, we can play with anybody,” Wright said. “We have a lot of potential to get some wins and make a push. A lot of the games, we’ve been in and we haven’t been finishing and our focus and not taking care of the ball hurt us.”
The Pistons had 13 turnovers, but they shot well enough to overcome that, hitting 56% from the field and 45% on 3-pointers, shredding a dismal Nets defense.
Brooklyn was within reach entering the fourth quarter with a 94-86 deficit. Harden (24 points, six rebounds and 12 assists) hit a 3-pointer to get within five, but the Pistons answered with a drive by Josh Jackson (13 points) and a lay-in and 3-pointer by rookie Saddiq Bey (15 points), who bolstered a strong reserve group that contributed 37 points.
While coach Dwane Casey has lamented the Pistons’ lack of consistency from game to game, he liked that they were able to put everything together against a team that many experts have picked as one of the favorites in the Eastern Conference.
“I like our foundation, our pieces; we're not a finished product,” Casey said. “You can't let guys grow into their roles overnight.”
Grant had only one field goal in the fourth period, a 3-pointer, and that pushed the lead to double digits at the 6:57 mark. Kyrie Irving (27 points and seven assists) responded with a driving lay-in but the Pistons had another gear.
They didn’t fold down the stretch, as they have so many times this season. The Pistons added on a 9-3 run to create some breathing room, with five points by Wright and four by Bey to push the lead to 113-99 with 2:31 left.
Nets coach Steve Nash emptied the bench and the Pistons were one their way to another impressive win.