Harden, Nets Outlast Pistons in Low-Scoring Affair

B

Final: 03/13/2021

W 100 95

It was not the flashiest game, but the Nets got their revenge against the Pistons.

32 days after hitting rock bottom against Detroit, the Nets ground out a 100-95 home victory on Saturday. Brooklyn led by as many as 12 points in the low-scoring affair.

It was a quiet and sloppy night for the Nets offensively as they shot a season-low 6-of-27 from three and 48.1% from the field. They also held the Pistons back, forcing Detroit to shoot 40.4% and 8-of-32 from three. 

Though the Nets were ahead for the majority of the night, they blew a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter as the Pistons took a one-point lead with three minutes left. Detroit kept itself within striking distance thanks to its rebounding and defense — they out-rebounded the Nets 58-48 and held a valuable 12-5 edge on the offensive glass while adding 24 second-chance points.

To counter, Brooklyn applied defensive pressure on the interior and forced turnovers as James Harden was able to cook. The Beard outscored Detroit 10-4 in the final three minutes to put the Pistons away.

The Nets brought a balanced scoring attack as five players registered double figures, led by Harden’s triple-double. Brooklyn outscored the Pistons in the paint 58-54 and the bench came up big with 31 points, led by Landry Shamet.

Jerami Grant led five Pistons in double figures with 22 points as the Nets’ defensive effort held Detroit below 100 points. 

In their last meeting, the Nets trailed the Pistons by as many as 20 points. Detroit continued to pester Brooklyn on Saturday with its physicality, but the Nets showed a fire they lacked at this point one month ago.

That is progress for a Nets team that has won 12 of its last 13 games. An uncharacteristic shooting night, particularly from three-point range, put Brooklyn in danger, but the Nets showed the grit necessary to escape with the win. 

Next up: The Knicks on Monday.

James Harden

A-

The stats: 24 PTS, 8-19 FG, 0-6 3PT, 8-8 FT, 10 REB, 10 AST, 2 STL, 3 BLK, 4 TO, 38 MIN

On Thursday, it was Kyrie Irving who stepped up down the stretch. This time, it was Harden. 

With the Pistons refusing to go away, Harden willed his way to the bucket and scored the Nets’ final 10 points. When the three-point shot was not falling, he showed an urgency to make Detroit pay inside — and managed to notch his ninth triple-double as a Net.

As Michael Grady said on YES, James just got here! But he continues to show off his court vision and set records each night (this time he passed Larry Bird on the all-time scoring list). It was not a strong shooting performance, but Harden made sure this game did not slip by and dazzled along the way.

Kyrie Irving

B+

The stats: 18 PTS, 8-18 FG, 0-6 3PT, 2-2 FT, 4 REB, 5 AST, 3 STL, 1 BLK, 4 TO, 36 MIN

Kyrie had a similar shooting performance to Harden but helped keep the Nets afloat early.

Kyrie scored 14 of his points in the first half as he made his way inside. He also could not help boost the Nets’ three-point percentage after his hot-shooting night on Thursday.

The Nets could have used more from Kyrie in the second half as they lost their 12-point lead, but that is where having a second All-Star in Harden comes in handy. No matter who is in the spotlight, the result is usually the same — a victory. 

Landry Shamet

A

The stats: 15 PTS, 5-6 FG, 3-3 3PT, 2-3 FT, 22 MIN

What a night for the birthday boy!

Shamet came up big as the Nets built a 12-point lead in the third quarter. Brooklyn went on a 17-6 run to close the third, and Shamet had 11 of those points. 

The birthday boy picked up where he left off after his 18-point night on Thursday. Shamet is impressing while recording meaningful contributions in the team’s last two victories — the Nets possibly don’t go two-for-two without him. 

DeAndre Jordan

B+

The stats: 14 PTS, 7-8 FG, 9 REB, 1 STL, 1 BLK, 29 MIN

DeAndre was having a ball against the Pistons.

Harden and Kyrie were often looking for DJ in the paint with lobs aplenty. The trio was often in sync as DeAndre nearly notched a double-double.

DJ cooled down a bit in the second half after scoring 10 first-half points, but he still helped keep the Nets competitive on the boards. It was also neat to see Harden and DJ discussing plays after the buzzer sounded — it’s all about progress. 

Joe Harris

B

The stats: 10 PTS, 4-8 FG, 2-5 3PT, 4 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 1 TO, 32 MIN

Joe had an impact on both sides of the ball on Saturday.

His connection with Harden was front and center as the Beard helped set Joe up for a three-pointer off a steal Joe forced. On the next play, Harden found Joe for a driving layup.

The duo provided a good burst of momentum in a low-scoring game. Joe’s offense can be quiet on certain nights, but he still is reliable whenever his teammates find him open. 

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