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Nets show up late, but find a way to beat the Pistons, 87-83

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Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

BROOKLYN - The Brooklyn Nets entered Sunday night's game against the Detroit Pistons having been a bit demoralized some 18 hours earlier on a LeBron James game-winning shot. A 3-13 team, coming off an an 0-2 road trip and being asked to slow down one of the best big men in the game in Andre Drummond. Luckily for the Nets, the Pistons haven't been playing well themselves, especially on the road where they have lost six of their last seven games away from Detroit.

It took over three quarters of ugly basketball, but on the backs of Shane Larkin, Thaddeus Young, Wayne Ellington and Brook Lopez, the Nets finally came alive in the fourth quarter and were able to start playing "basketball." Fortunately, their late-game play was enough for the team to walk away with a win, 87-83.

The Nets are now 4-13 on the season.

This one was ugly early on, with both teams struggling to get anything done on the offensive side of the ball -- it was capped off with a Andre Drummond air-ball from the free-throw line. The Pistons, however, shot just 9-of-28 (32.1 percent) from the floor and 3-of-8 (37.5 percent) from the free-throw line and still managed to take a 22-18 lead into the second quarter. Where they were killing the Nets was on second-chance opportunities, with 9 second chance points in the first.

It also didn't help that Thaddeus Young had two fouls early on and was on the bench for almost half of the first quarter.

Neither team fared much better in the second quarter, though the Nets were able to put a few "runs" together and take the lead, 27-24. Again, it wasn't pretty. And it only got uglier.

Both teams struggled on offense, with the Pistons shooting 36 percent and the Nets shooting 33.3 percent from the floor in the first half. Both teams combined for just 16 assists, with the Nets only accountable for six of those. Both teams turned the ball over 9 times. Both teams stunk.

At halftime, the Pistons led the Nets 41-35.

The ugliness carried over into the third quarter. The Nets were allowing far too many second chance points, while the Pistons were in need of turnovers and offensive rebounds in order to convert.

Thaddeus Young breathed a little life into the team, however, leading the team offensively while Brook Lopez sat on the bench with four fouls. Again, it wasn't pretty at all, but with the Pistons struggling as well the Nets remained in this one, trailing just 67-59 at the end of the third quarter. Yes, they were somehow still in it.

Both teams shot under 40 percent from the floor in the first three quarters -- the Nets shot 38.1 percent, the Pistons shot 35.1 percent.

Brook Lopez finally came alive in the fourth quarter, working the ball well on offense and playing a nice pick-and-pop game with Shane Larkin. Also alive was Wayne Ellington, who did a lot of damage in second half. He scored all ... of his points in the second half.

The Nets were able to tie the game at 74-74, with just over five minutes to play.

Brooklyn then began to pull away, with the quick play of Larkin and Young leading them in the open court.

Detroit had some fight in them, though, as play got a little chippy and the Nets weren't able to convert on offense. It was back to sloppy play, and that's what kept the Pistons in this one.

Jarrett Jack's free throws late gave the Nets a 3-point lead with under 15 seconds to go, however, and they were able to hold on to win, 87-83.

Brook Lopez was great on the defensive side of the ball, posting 6 blocks and 4 steals in 36 minutes. On offense, though, he had three brutal quarters, scoring just 8 points on 3-of-13 shooting, but came along in the fourth to help the Nets stay in this one. Lopez finished with 15 points and 9 rebounds. In fact, Lopez came within one steal of the elusive 5x5 - 5 or more points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals. Only Kawhi Leonard has come that close this season.

Young finished with 19 points on 9-of-12 shooting, while Wayne Ellington had 12 points in 24 minutes for the Nets. Larkin finished with 9 points in 23 minutes off the bench.

Andre Drummond had 20 points and 17 rebounds for the Pistons.

The Nets play 26 of their next 38 games at home and eight of nine games at home, with the lone road game being at Madison Square Garden. Maybe that will result in a bit of a streak? Maybe.

Next up is Tuesday night against the Phoenix Suns.

For more on the Pistons, see: Detroit Bad Boys