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Same Stuff, Different Game: Nets Extend Losing Streak to Five after 98-93 Loss to Detroit

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Johnson was right. The Nets aren't a very good team, or rather, they haven't been a good team of late. They lost their fifth straight game Saturday night vs. the Pistons, 98-93. It's the Nets' fifth straight loss and the Pistons' eighth win in their last nine contests.

It was a closely contested battle for the first three quarters. The Pistons owned a five point lead heading into the fourth quarter, but a 9-2 run late in the fourth quarter gave Detroit their biggest lead of the night at nine, then eventually 12 after a dagger three from Jonas Jerebko.

The Nets seemed to have lost their offensive touch in the second half. Bojan Bogdanovic finished the first half with 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting, then finished the game with 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting. That's TWO SHOTS after leading all scorers in the first 24 minutes of action. It was his first double-digit game since December 8 vs. Cleveland.

But, the team numbers spoke volume yet again.

Prior to Saturday's game, the Nets averaged 16 turnovers in the four-game losing streak. They turned the ball over 14 times overall, but 10 of the 14 came in the second half. It correlated with their poor shooting as well. They were 9-for-31 (29%) from three and 42% from the field. Brook Lopez was 3-for-9 with 11 points and 15 rebounds, the fourth highest total of his career.  Mirza Teletovic was 1-for-9 with six rebounds. The two are supposed to be the offensive leaders off the bench. To add to the pack, Jarrett Jack ended his night with six points and eight assists on 2-for-11 shooting. That's a grand total of 6-for-29 among Lopez, Teletovic and Jack.

Joe Johnson finished his night with 17 points in 36 minutes. He led all Brooklyn scorers. Mason Plumlee finished with 14 points and five rebounds, while Alan Anderson chipped in 13 off the bench.  Darius Morris finished with 10 points, playing 19 minutes in relief of Jack. He was 2-of-5 from deep.

For Detroit, Greg Monroe was the star of the night with 16 points and 17 rebounds. Brandon Jennings also had a star-like night with 20 points and 11 assists, running right through Brooklyn's porous defense.

"We had shots that would have put us ahead or put us further ahead and we just didn't make them," Lionel Hollins said. "And then to compound it, we get in crucial stretches where we make a turnover here, a turnover there and the whole thing is if you are not putting up 95, 100 shots every turnover matters, every missed shot matters because you are not getting that many so you have to shoot a better percentage."

"We gave ourselves an opportunity the majority of the game," Lopez said. "We had trouble scoring but I thought we defended well. It kind of just fell off the rails toward the end."

Before the game, Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy, dismissed reports that the Nets long-time center was having a bad year.

"To me, Brook's the same way he's always been," Van Gundy said. "He is a great- shooting big guy. I mean, especially at his size, I don't know that there's many guys that have ever played in the league that shoot that jump shot as well as he does -- jump shot, set shot, whatever you want to call it -- and then he's a load in the low post, and he's really, really tough to play. He's so strong and he does a good job of getting down low and leveraging and using that crab dribble. And then defensively and on the boards, you have to deal with his size."

Quarter by quarter summary

First quarter ... It was an average opening 12 for the Brooklyn Nets. Their abysmal three point shooting carried over from Friday night, as they shot 1-for-8 in the quarter, featuring two corner three attempts from Brook Lopez and Kevin Garnett. Hey, everybody's gotta join the fun, right?

However, they kept the number one rebounding team off the glass, losing by only two in that statistical category for the first quarter of play. The Pistons led, 22-21, with Greg Monroe scoring six points and grabbing seven rebounds.

Second quarter ... Bojan Bogdanovic stole the story and control of the game in the second quarter. In his return to the starting lineup, Bogdanovic led all Nets' scorers with 12 points on 5-for-9 shooting, with eight of those points coming in the second. With Bogey, Joe Johnson scored 11 points and nailed his first three of four three-pointers in the half.

Overall, it was a good half for Brooklyn. They notched a 27-24 rebounding advantage, tied 20-20 for points in the paint and committed just four turnovers. They did those little things right, but they couldn't hit their open shots. They finished the half 5-for-18 from three and 18-for-50 (36%) from the field.

Brook Lopez (eight rebounds) and Mirza Teletovic were a combined 2-for-14 off the bench.

Score at the half: Nets 47, Pistons 47.

Third quarter ... It was the same story for the third quarter; a back-and-forth pace that saw a shortage of runs from either team. The Pistons held the upper hand in the quarter with a 27-22 scoring advantage, but it was their resurgence on the glass and 10-third quarter points in the paint that gave them a 74-69 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Every player besides Kentavious Caldwell-Pope were in double figures, most notably Greg Monroe who had 14 points and 14 rebounds after three quarters.

Fourth quarter ... The Nets cut the deficit down to two, but Brandon Jennings nailed a three to go up seven with a little under three minutes remaining. The Nets, in need of a bucket, turned the ball over for the tenth time of the second half. It killed their chances.

Final score: Pistons 98, Nets 93.

For more on the Pistons, check them out at Detroit Bad Boys.