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Acy, Drummond ejected as Nets lose to Pistons, 108-96

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NBA: Detroit Pistons at Brooklyn Nets Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Following a big victory against Miami on Saturday night, the Nets laid an egg against the Detroit Pistons on Sunday, 108-96.

It was their 52nd loss of the season and the Nets still haven’t won three consecutive games this season. The last time they did that? A year ago from April 1 to April 4.

Detroit did it without Blake Griffin, who sat with a bone bruise. So, Ish Smith stole the show, widening a Pistons lead in the first half. He scored 17 points in 11 minutes and led the Pistons on a 17-3 run to close out the half, giving Detroit a 62-48 lead. They pressured the Nets on the 3-point line and forced them to shoot 5-of-19 in the half.

It was the theme of the entire night. The Nets finished the night just 12-of-43 from 3-point but 43 percent from the field. They were 25-of-44 from two-point.

Then, as the game got nasty in the third, there was an altercation that’s likely to have serious ramifications for one of the Nets.

The Nets were down 13 when Quincy Acy and Andre Drummond got into a minor tussle. Drummond pushed Acy, then Acy went after him and inadvertently hit the ref in the face. Both were ejected. Acy walked off with his hands over his face, seemingly more upset than angry.

“What, you think I swung on purpose? said Acy. “We were on the floor for a loose ball, he shot an [elbow] and I just overreacted.”

It sparked the Nets briefly, as they answered with an 8-2 run as they continued to settle for shots behind the 3-point line. They chipped away in the fourth —as they do— and brought it within six with a little over two minutes remaining in the game, but Caris LeVert fouled Reggie Jackson behind the 3-point arc.

It wasn’t the reason why they lost but… growing pains.

Joe Harris led the team with 15 points off the bench, while Rondae Hollis-Jefferson chipped in 14 points and eight rebounds. D’Angelo Russell had a decent game after being benched last night, finishing with 13 points and seven assists. Jarrett Allen continued to impress with 15 points, six rebounds and three blocks.

“He [coach] challenged us mentally to come off the road trip and get prepared the most we can mentally, physically. We could’ve done better,” said Russell after the game.

But...

“We never stopped the bleeding. We didn’t make that shot or get that stop that we needed to stop the bleeding.”

The Nets defense was particularly bad in the backcourt.

Reggie Jackson went off for 29 points, while Drummond had a double double with 13 points and 14 rebounds. The Pistons shot 45 percent from the field and out-rebounded the Nets by 13.

JAHLIL OKAFOR ON FREE AGENCY

Mike Scotto and Brian Lewis spoke to Jahlil Okafor about whether he wants to return to the Nets. Here’s Scotto’s tweet...

Nothing really new there. Okafor will have limited opportunities (although the Celtics once expressed interest) and by all accounts, he likes it in New York and the Nets front office would like to see what a summer of intense training could do.

Putting aside the basketball angle, there is a human drama here as well. Okafor was seen as a great basketball player from the time he won a state championship in Illinois to when he won the NCAA championship at Duke to being picked No. 3 in the NBA and even being named to the All-Rookie team. Now, at 22, his once bright future is in danger.

Okafor did not play vs. the Pistons.

AN L2M REPORT WE CAN ALL LIVE WITH

After the Nets overtime win over Miami, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra predicted that the NBA’s Last Two Minute (L2M) report would prove the Heat was disadvantaged by the lack of calls in overtime, including a non-call against Gerald Wallace as he defended Dwyane Wade on a potential game winner.

Wrong. For once, the L2M report favored the Nets, as Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald tweeted Sunday night...

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