The Pistons once again got off to a slow start, which is becoming a bit of a concerning trend. This slow start was a bit more understandable because they were on the second night of a back-to-back, but something needs to change as they will not win very many games against good teams starting out slow.
The teams spent the first three minutes exchanging clanked jumpers. The Pistons would eventually take the lead on the Nets after going on a 21-3 run to end the first quarter and start the second, but it was sparked mostly by the bench. The game went back-and-forth for the rest of the quarter and the Pistons took a 60-54 lead into halftime after a great inbounds play led to a Jose Calderon 3-pointer with one second left.
The second half was more of the same as any time the Pistons looked like they might start to pull away, the Nets would hit right back with a little run of their own. The Pistons had shut down Spencer Dinwiddie in the first half, but he went off in the second half and kept the Nets in this game. He scored all of his 25 points in the second half and in overtime including a 3-pointer to tie the game at the end of regulation and the go-ahead three in overtime.
Blake Griffin hit a couple of clutch threes down the stretch in regulation, but the Nets always had an answer. With under a minute left and the Pistons with a one point lead, the Nets were able to grab three consecutive offensive rebounds, but were not able to get anything out of the extra possessions. It looked like the Pistons had caught the break they needed, as they would go up three on a couple Reggie Jackson free throws. But as I mentioned above, Dinwiddie hit a long three off the inbounds pass to tie the game with 20 seconds left. The Pistons failed to score and they went to overtime.
Overtime was more of the same, as Blake Griffin hit a three that appeared to be the dagger only for Diwiddie to answer with yet another clutch three with about seven seconds left. That turned out to be the winner as Blake Griffin took a bad fadeaway jumper over Dinwiddie at the buzzer.
Reggie Jackson played a great game down the stretch and ended with 21 points. Andre Drummond had yet another 20-20 game as he finished with 24 points and 23 rebounds. Blake Griffin was relatively quiet until we got down the stretch, but still ended with 25 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists. Bruce Brown also looked pretty good for a second round pick, especially defensively. He still cannot shoot, but he looked more comfortable attacking the rim.
For the Nets, Dinwiddie had 25 points, Joe Harris had 23 points and Caris LeVert had 19 points.
The Pistons had plenty of chances to win this game down the stretch, but the Nets are a team that plays hard and can put up points and they were able to hang around the whole game. Playing an overtime game on the second night of a back-to-back is not ideal, but this is a game the Pistons should have won even though they started out so poor.
The Pistons will get a few days off as they face the 76ers at 1 p.m. on Saturday.