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Crabbe injured as Nets defeat Pistons in preseason thriller, 110-108

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Brooklyn is now 1-1 in the preseason.

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Detroit Pistons Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets and Detroit Pistons needed overtime to find a winner in this preseason thriller. It was a good test for the Nets, a team that struggled to close out games last year. Better yet, they won.

The Nets trailed 100-99 when D’Angelo Russell found himself on the wing extended. With little hesitation, DLo stepped into his shot and nailed a huge 3-pointer to go up 102-100 with 11 seconds left. No “Ice-in-veins” moment though. Reggie Bullock took that moment from him and hit the game-tying layup to force overtime.

That’s when things got interesting. Kenny Atkinson and Dwane Casey kept most of their starters in the game and the Nets jumped out on an 8-2 run and led by six with 3:12 remaining, 110-104.

As the game came down to the wire, the Nets couldn’t buy a bucket, much like last season. They failed to score a bucket in the final 3:12, but ultimately prevailed as Andre Drummond missed a floater to tie the game with 0.7 second left.

The bad: Allen Crabbe was helped off the court three minutes into the game after rolling his left ankle, the same ankle that kept him out of the entire preseason last year.

“Sprained ankle right now. X-rays are negative. We’ll know later,” Kenny Atkinson said of Crabbe, whose status for Wednesday against Toronto is uncertain.

BROOKLYN’S 3 STARS

  • Caris LeVert played 35 minutes and finished with a near triple-double with 19 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. He played 30 or more minutes in nine games last season. LeVert handled the ball most of the game and looked good doing so.
  • D’Angelo Russell played 33 minutes and finished with 25 points. He played 30 or more minutes in 12 games last season. He got basically whatever he wanted — hitting five 3-pointers while driving the lane and hitting some impressive floaters. He also hit the clutch shot that ultimately sent the game to overtime.
  • Jarrett Allen finished with 17 points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots in 32 minutes. He played 30 or more minutes in four games last year (!) ... Allen looked like a young Rudy Gobert out there, blocking shots and finishing most of his buckets around the rim.

Like this one against Brake Griffin...

NEW GUYS

Ed Davis is looking great in black-and-white. He had six points and six rebounds in the first six minutes of his night. He’s extremely efficient and does all the little things right. He finished the night with eight points and 10 rebounds in 20 minutes.

Jared Dudley hit the two 3-pointers he took in 24 minutes of action. He didn’t do much other than that, but the fact that he’s a threat from three is enough for Atkinson to find minutes for him at the four.

Treveon Graham was a plus-15 on the night, but he can’t seem to find his rhythm. He played 34 minutes and scored just four points on 2-of-5 shooting. He grabbed six rebounds — perhaps a sign that the Nets will want to use him at the four when they can.

Rodions Kurucs didn’t log much time but he once again made the most of the little time he did get. In seven minutes, Kurucs scored four points and grabbed five boards. His long wingspan and ability to play multiple positions might bode well for the Long Island-bound Latvian.

Dzanan Musa didn’t show much in the 11 minutes he played. He hit one shot on two attempts, his first in a Nets uniform.

Kenneth Faried received his second straight DNP. It was reported that he was dealing with an ankle injury. No word whether that was the case tonight.

***

Since the game wasn’t televised, we did a quarterly analysis.

1st quarter - Nets led 27-15

It was a good start for the guys in black and white. They were scoring at will and the defense couldn’t have been better. However, there was some anxiety after Crabbe rolled his left ankle and had to be assisted off the floor by Dzanan Musa and Kenneth Faried.

That’s also when Jarrett Allen caught a body. A big one nonetheless. Blake Griffin tried to posterize him but Allen was having none of it. The Nets answered with a 12-2 run following the wonderful sequence.

2nd quarter - Nets 50, Pistons 43

The Pistons scored 28 points and regained the lead in this game despite a strong first quarter from the Nets. The backup unit wasn’t getting it done, but LeVert came in and settled things down.

3rd quarter- Nets 80, Pistons 79

Just a few minutes into the quarter and the Nets found themselves up by 13 following a 7-0 run. Allen had two blocks in one sequence — seemingly boosting Brooklyn’s momentum ... again. D’Angelo Russell also started cooking, scoring 11 of his 25 points in the third.

Although the Nets played well offensively, they gave up 36 points and failed to pull away. Oh and we got to finally see Dzanan Musa make his debut!

4th quarter - Nets 102, Pistons 102

Things went back and forth with the Pistons regaining a lead with 3:15 left. The Nets took a 3-point lead (97-94) but committed two straight turnovers which enabled Detroit to climb back. Here was their test down 98-97 with 57 seconds left. D’Angelo Russell scored Brooklyn’s final five points of the fourth quarter, but Langston Galloway and Reggie Bullock lifted Detroit and helped bring this thing to OT.

OVERTIME

The Nets jumped out on an 8-2 run and led 110-104, but failed to score in the final 3:12 of the game. Fortunately for them, the Pistons failed to capitalize and they stopped Drummond’s attempt to send this thing to double OT.

KENNY ATKINSON COMMENTS

On whether he saw some of the things that he’d been working on: “Yes. There were some good things, again more space to drive, and 36 3’s were good. I don’t know how many free throws that we had—17, that’s not great. We’ve got to get to the free throw line more. But, the change is going to take some time until it really clicks, I don’t like the 18 turnovers—that was an issue last year. So, that’s got to improve. The first game against the (New York) Knicks we had 13, but they really put the defensive pressure on. Give them credit, they get into you and make it tough. The plan wasn’t to leave those guys in there the whole time, but for our well-being (I thought) we should try to get this win. So, good job our guys finishing the game.”

On whether tonight against Drummond was a better example of Nets rebounding: “Seven offensive rebounds. They missed a lot of shots, too, so there were a lot of rebounds, right? You’ve got to be careful with statistics. But, I definitely think that we can do a better job with rebounding. I just think it’s a major point of emphasis, it wasn’t training camp. So, we have to do a better job, I thought today that we gave up too many.

***

Langston Galloway led the Pistons with 24 points, while Blake Griffin finished with 17 points and nine rebounds.

For a different perspective, head on over to our sister site Detroit Bad Boys.

The Nets will play their third preseason game against the Toronto Raptors at 7:00 pm on Wednesday. The game will be played at the Bell Centre in Montreal.